§ Mr. Hawkins
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many(a) special advisers, (b) task force members and (c) review body members his Department employs; what is the total salary and benefits of (a) to (c); and what was the equivalent cost prior to 1 May. 
§ Mr. Chris Smith
My Department employs one full-time and one part-time Special Adviser. Prior to 1 May the Department of National Heritage employed one full-time Special Adviser. In order to protect the privacy of the individuals concerned it would be inappropriate to reveal their salary details. However the total paybill for Special Advisers was given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in response to the hon. Members for Gordon (Mr. Bruce) and for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr. Davey) on 25 November 1997, Official Report, columns 472–73.
From time to time my Department sets up task forces, review groups or other informal mechanisms. Normal practice is that non-civil servants on these groups are not employed on a salary basis although occasionally travel expenses may by paid the costs of which are not held centrally. A similar arrangement applied prior to 1 May.