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Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many consultancies were commissioned by his Department in the last two years for which figures are available; and what the cost of those contracts was. [130894]

The total number of consultancies could be established only at disproportionate cost. Annual expenditure on external consultants is published in the Department's Annual Reports (copies of which are in the Library of the House). It amounted to £17.9 million in 2000–01 and £20.1 million in 2001–02. The vast majority of this expenditure was associated with our major Information Communication Technology and Estate construction programmes.