I propose to take Questions Nos. 358 to 360, inclusive, together.
During 2001 a total of five staff worked in the My Department's press office. The salary costs, including employer's PRSI totaled €133,126.77.
During 2002 a total of five staff were employed in the press office. The salary costs, including employer's PRSI totaled €168,143.11. This figure includes the cost of a media adviser, whom I appointed on a contract basis for my term of office, from 31 July 2002.
From January 2003 to date there are four staff in the Department's press office including a media adviser. The salary costs, including employer's PRSI to date total €23,539.60
The use of advertising is important in ensuring that all of our citizens are fully aware of their social welfare entitlements and are kept informed of changes and improvements as they occur.
My Department spent a total of €1,519,053 on advertising in the period 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2001. In the period 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2002 spending on advertising amounted to €1,319,239 and from 1 January 2003 to date expenditure amounts to €45,897. This advertising covered a wide range of Departmental schemes and services.
Expenditure on public relations consultancy amounted to €6,534 in 2002. There was no expenditure of that nature in 2001 or to date in 2003.
During this period there was no expenditure on media monitoring services.