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Civil Servants are borrowing Ministers Cars
July 19, 2013
It has emerged that Civil Servants have been borrowing official Minister cars for their own uses. 

The Government has slashed the number of ministerial cars and drivers, ministers have been critisised in the past for using vehicles instead of using public transport. 

Though a number of questions from an MP from the Conservative party reveal that sometimes when ministers leave their cars behind, their Civil Servants are taking them out instead, on apparent Government business. 

Responsing to questions in Parliament, both the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Business have said that when the allocated vehicle that has been provided by the Government Car Service is not being used by Ministers, then it can be used to transport other officials. 

A spokesman from the business department confirmed that Senior Civil Servants could use vehicles that are allocated to the department when it was not in use by a minister, though went on to say that not many Civil Servants actually did this. The spokesman said that politically appointed special advisers could only travel in vehicles along with ministers. 

The Department for Energy and Climate Change expressed that it had only one departmental car. 

A spokesman expressed that to maximise possible value for money the vehicle can also be accessed by Department for Energy and Climate Change officials if there is a clear need for business. This system ensures that the best use is being had of the vehicle, departmental resources and the driver. 

David Cameron said before the general election that people were annoyed with politicians that swanned around in cars that were chauffeur driven like they were part of the Royal Family. 

The amount of money that was spent by Government Departments on official vehicles from the Government Car and Despatch Agency dropped from £6.7,000,000 in 2009/2010 to £1.9,000,000 in 2011/2012/.

The most recent figures show that there were 13 Agency cars that were allocated to Government departments in 2012. These figures don't include the cost of vehicles provided to ministers who have cars allocated to them for security reasons. 

Simon Burns Transport Minister faced critisism after the Mail on Sunday revealed that he used a Government vehicle to commute from his constituency home in Chelmsford, to London. The Department for Transport henceforth said that he was working on official papers during the commute and he was travelling in the vehicle for security reasons. 
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