Did Britain’s Foreign Office once spend JUST £7 on diplomats’ ceremonial dress for a whole year?

Who says civil servants can’t be thrifty – back in 2008-9, £7 went on altering existing, or purchasing new, diplomatic uniforms, according to a freedom of information release.

That compares to £9,783.00 for 2014-15, according to figures released by the UK’s foreign and commonwealth office following a freedom of information request.

Keeping costs down

“To keep costs to a minimum the FCO also, wherever possible, re-uses uniforms rather than purchasing new ones,” said the foreign office.

“According to our records, the following has been spent on altering existing, or purchasing new, diplomatic uniforms in each financial year since 2007/08.”

Here’s the full rundown:

ceremonial dress FCO 2016

The foreign office’s response also set out which UK diplomats are required to wear ceremonial dresses.

“Diplomatic uniforms are currently required for certain roles in the United Kingdom where FCO staff work in support of Her Majesty The Queen and in some countries where the British Ambassador is required by local protocol to wear diplomatic uniform to represent the UK at ceremonial occasions,” said the foreign office.

And it gave the list of such roles:

diplomats 290316 1

diplomats 290316 2

The director and deputy director of protocol are foreign and commonwealth officials who are also members of the royal household as vice marshal and assistant marshal of the diplomatic corps.

While the foreign office doesn’t hold information on how many individuals were issued diplomatic uniforms over this period – although they usually serve three to four years in a particular role.

The figures also don’t include uniforms issued to governors of British overseas territories, which if uniforms are issued are paid for by the relevant overseas territory government.

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By David Johnson [1] (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.0 uk (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/uk/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

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