§ Dr. Reid
[holding answer 18 May 1999]: Detailed information on the numbers of permanent civil servants employed in Departmental Press Offices during the financial years 1997–98 and 1998–99 was provided in a memorandum dated 16 June 1998 to the Select Committee on Public Administration and published in its report on The Government Information and Communication Service (HC 770) in July 1998. A copy is in the Library of the House. The number in post in my Department at 1 May 1999 was 30.
All Special Advisers in my Department have had ad hoc contact with the media, but no Special Adviser was employed to deal specifically with media relations at 1 May (i) 1997, (ii) 1998 or (iii) 1999. One special adviser with particular responsibility for media relations was employed from 5 May 1998 to 6 April 1999.