§ Mr. Brady
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment for the period 2 May 1997 to 29 February 2000 what was(a) the number of occasions on which couriers were used to distribute news releases from his Department and (b) the total cost of using couriers to distribute news releases. 
§ Mr. Wills
[holding answer 10 March 2000]: Prior to April 1998, the DfEE distributed hard copies of press notices via the Central Office of Information delivery service. After April 1998, all press releases have been distributed electronically via the News Distribution Service managed by the Central Office of Information. Couriers are not used purely to distribute press releases. It is however impossible to separate the times when couriers were used as the only practical means of sending out sensitive material which may have had press releases attached.
§ Mr. Wills
[holding answer 10 March 2000]: Due to the sheer numbers of media who will have received DfEE press releases, it is not possible to provide a list. Press releases are available to all the media via the News Distribution Service, managed by the Central Office of Information, and the internet. Targeted distribution will rely on the subject and content of the specific press release.