Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister: “Some months ago we learned that Stormont had awarded an estimated £400,000 contract split between six firms for the “provision of photographic services”.
“As result of an Assembly question last year I discovered that figures are “not available” for the years 2007/08 and 2008/09 and that for the three years from 2009/10 to 2011/12 a scandalous total of £349,740 was spent by departments on photographs – over £100,000 a year!
“Now, one year and seven months after I asked the question, I have learned that since May 2007 £33,656.51 has been spent on photography provision outside Northern Ireland to the Executive. That may not be the entire figure as, in the case of two departments, Employment and Learning and Social Development, “figures (if any) are not available for the entire period.”
“This figure seems grossly excessive, especially when put alongside the already significant sum paid for photographers in the Province.
“Doubtless many people will now wonder how much they paid for the photo when they see an Executive Minister beaming out at them from the pages of the paper.
“I am also aware that there are many journalists who are fed up getting their email inbox clogged up with an endless stream of photographs emailed out by executive press offices.”
Note to editors
Mr Allister’s question tabled on 21st March 2012 and answered on 17th October 2013 is below To ask the First Minister and deputy First Minister how much has been paid to photographers, or other service providers, for the provision of photographic services to the Executive for work outside Northern Ireland since May 2007.
Since May 2007, £33,656.51 has been spent on photography provision outside Northern Ireland. In the case of two departments, DEL and DSD, figures (if any) are not available for the entire period.
Expenditure on photography services outside of Northern Ireland incorporates Trade Missions, Ministerial visits and assignments with Ministers in other jurisdictions.