HC Deb 17 March 2000 vol 346 c366W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those United Kingdom embassies overseas where embassy staff include paid secondees from commercial companies; and for each secondee, if he will list the(a) seconding company and (b) whether the secondee is paid by (i) the seconding company, (ii) the embassy or (iii) another source. [114815]

Mr. Hain

In line with HMG's policy of increased interchange with the private sector, as part of the modernising government agenda, there are eight private sector secondees at posts overseas, in Japan, Hong Kong, Angola, Thailand and the USA. In addition, there is one secondee with a roving remit for South-East Asia.

The secondees are bound by Diplomatic Service regulations relating to conduct and discipline, and answerable to the head of the diplomatic post at which they are serving.

I will ask the companies concerned for their agreement to their details being provided to the hon. Member and will write to him. I will place a copy of my letter in the Libraries of the House. As regards payment, the most common arrangement is for the secondee to continue to be paid by his or her employer, which in turn seeks reimbursement from the FCO. However, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 March 2000, Official Report, column 44W, to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Smith), in which I stated that BNFL meet the full costs associated with the appointment of the Atomic Energy Counsellor in Tokyo.