HC Deb 09 January 1996 vol 269 cc121-2W
Dr. Wright

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much public advertising has been undertaken to publicise the open government code; and at what cost. [6674]

Mr. Willetts

The code of practice on access to Government information came into force on 4 April 1994. In 1994–95, 52,000 copies of the Office of Public Service leaflet explaining the operation of the code and over 5,000 copies of the code of practice itself were distributed to organisations such as citizens advice bureaux and libraries, at a total cost including printing and distribution of £19,048.

In 1995–96, this leaflet has been redesigned, and is being made widely available. A display poster, advertising the code, has also been prepared. To date, some 70,000 standard English language leaflets, 2,500 posters and 4,500 leaflets in formats for the visually impaired have been produced and distributed to public outlets as above. A further 30,000 standard English language leaflets, about 5,000 in formats for the visually impaired and about 30,000 in ethnic minority languages, are currently being produced, and will be distributed in January 1996. The total cost in 1995–96, including production and distribution, is expected to be around £80,000.

The code has also been publicised in the citizens charter "Report Back" newsletter, which was distributed by direct mailing in major cities in September and October 1995. The full code and the revised leaflet have also been made available on the Internet. These methods of advertising have involved no separate additional cost.

Individual Departments have issued press releases and made explanatory material tailored to their own circumstances available on request as follows:

Department Leaflets issued Expenditure
Department for Education and
Employment 195,000 1£22,981
Department of Environment not known *£170
Foreign and Commonwealth
Office including Overseas
Development Administration not known £1,970
Department of Health *30,000 2£3,135
Home Office 5,000 £1,350
Lord Chancellor's Department not known *£1,000
Northern Ireland Office 34,500 £2,945
Scottish Office not known *£100
Department of Social Security 4315,000 £13,324
Department of Trade and
Industry 52,000 6£1,602
Department of Transport not known £1,338
Welsh Office 8,500 £2,881
Non-ministerial departments and agencies
Charity Commissioners 7157,000 £14,981
Customs and Excise 12,000 £1,486
Data Protection Registrar not known £2,100
Office of Fair Trading not known 8£6,836
Inland Revenue 9not known £6,073
OFSTED not known *£200
OFWAT not known *£100

Entries marked with an asterisk are approximate figures.

1Includes £2,849 for Employment Service and £581 for Department for Education. Also includes £19,551 for 75,000 Health and Safety Executive leaflets.

2 Includes £500 for Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys.

3These were inserts to the OPS leaflet and were aimed at the public. Some of the money spent by NIO was also used on internal publicity for the Code of Practice.

4Includes braille, audio cassette and Welsh language versions. Distributed to local offices and Citizens' Advice Bureaux.

5Figure for 1995 only.

6Includes £970.65 in 1994, £352 in 1995 updating 1994 leaflet, and £380 on a series of Internet pages.

7Includes 5,000 Open Government leaflets in 1994 and 152,000 combined Open Government/general information leaflets in 1995.

8Cost of producing a Citizen's Charter booklet including information on the Open Government Code of Practice.

9Available at every Tax Office.

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