MoJ reveals annual spend

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has revealed that it will spend £145,000 on PR agencies over the course of the year.

Justice minister David Hanson was responding to a written question by Tory MP Mark Hoban. He said the cash had been earmarked for spending on external public relations companies bet­ween 9 May 2007 and 31 March 2008.

The funding breaks down as follows:

- £25,000 on a campaign to increase understanding of the work of courts and their role in the justice system

- £12,500 for a public awareness campaign about the ­legal status of cohabitation

- £12,500 to publicise the Family Mediation Helpline

- £55,000 for a public awareness campaign about human rights

- £40,000 for a public awareness campaign about community orders.

Hanson also said that the Office of the Public Guardian would spend £30,000 to raise public awareness of the Mental Capacity Act. A spokesman for the MoJ was unable to provide any details about which agencies were being appointed.

The recently formed dep-artment is responsible for prisons, human rights and constitutional matters. It is headed by secretary of state Jack Straw.

Clare Harbord, previously head of UK comms at E.ON, started as director of comms at the MoJ last month.

The department currently employs 21 press officers.

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