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Government’s Eight Vehicle Fleet Costs £500,000-Plus A Year

Government’s Eight Vehicle Fleet Costs £500,000-Plus A Year
31 March 2021
 

HuffPost has revealed that more than half a million pounds a year is spent on a fleet of cars to courier ministerial red boxes and briefing documents.

A Freedom of Information request made by the news website showed that eight vehicles run by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) agency cost the taxpayer £570,321 in 2019/20.

The fleet consists of five Ford Focus estates, two Ford Fiestas and a Ford Transit, and is managed under a subscription arrangement.

 

An Electronic Alternative?

 

The FDO confirmed that the external messenger service (EMS) delivers classified material that cannot be transported digitally for security reasons.

A spokesperson told HuffPost: “The government is committed to delivering value for money to the taxpayer, while maintaining our national security. Classified material that cannot be sent electronically or by post must be transported by specialist means. We do so in the most secure and cost-effective manner possible.”

HuffPost also raised how other governments, such as in Estonia, use online encrypted governmental services. Just 17 per cent of Estonian government's communications are paper-based

Siim Sikkut, Chief Information Officer for the Estonia government, explained:

He said: "For classified, we have separate document management systems, separation of networks [...] but without going to details, that level exchange also happens digitally, just even more securely."

Picture: a photograph of the Palace of Westminster

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 31 March 2021

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