Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Marian Harkin

Question:

218 Ms Harkin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number and cost of personnel involved in his Department in media, media marketing and public relations activities, including external public relations and media monitoring services in the periods 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2001, 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2002, and 1 January 2003 to date. [3998/03]

The activities referred to by the Deputy form part of the remit of this Department's press section. Currently five permanent civil servants are employed in the press section.

As permanent civil servants, salaries are in accordance with agreed civil service pay scales. Salary costs for staff in the press section in 2001 were €195,120; in 2002 €200,230 and in 2003 their salaries to date amount to €21,920.

In February 2002, an information officer was appointed, on a five year contract, to the development co-operation directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The salary costs of this officer for 2002, March to December, were €43,703 and for 2003, year to date, were €6,235. This pay scale is in line with the approved pay scale for the grade of Assistant Principal in the Civil Service.