To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total cost of the Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its associated agencies, broken down by (1) staff time, (2) printing costs, (3) running of engagement events, (4) witness expenses, (5) publicity of the reports, and (6) any and all other associated costs.
26 February 2015
The Balance of Competences Review concluded in December. It was the most comprehensive analysis of the UK’s relationship with the EU ever undertaken. The Review involved a large number of Departments across Whitehall to produce the 32 reports. The Review was based on the evidence and views received through widespread consultation with interested parties from across society. Across the whole review, departments received close to 2,300 evidence submissions. Departments held over 250 events, attended by around 2,100 stakeholders.
The breakdown of costs requested are as follows:
(1) Providing a full breakdown of staff time and costs would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold, but the staff cost of the Review was borne entirely within existing staff budgets.
(2) The printing and publication costs for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) were £20,366. These costs covered copies of all 32 reports.
(3) The FCO spent approximately £15,740 on running engagement events.
(4) Across the whole of the Balance of Competences Review witness expenses amounted to approximately £2,255 which were borne by the FCO.
(5) The FCO did not spend any money on publicity of the reports utilising existing free social media and internet channels.
(6) The FCO spent approximately £17,450 on other associated costs.