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Departmental Staff

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff were employed on a consultancy basis in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest period was for which a consultant was employed in each year. (102973)

The Department has engaged the following number of individuals to provide consultancy services as defined by the Office of Government Commerce:

Financial Year

Number

2003-04 (from September 03)

7

2004-05

60

2005-06

72

2006-07 (to date)

35

The Department does not have information on the number of individuals working on contracts entered with consultancy firms.

Further information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

I have asked the Chief Executives of the Executive Agencies to respond directly to the hon. Member.

Letter from Tim Moss, dated 13 December 2007:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of Companies House to your question regarding how many staff were employed on a consultancy basis in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest period was for which a consultant was employed in each year.

The following table provides detail from the financial data available on consultants employed by Companies House over the last 5 years.

Average time (days)

Financial year

Number

Estimate

Longest period

2006-07

9 sets of consultancy

170

40 days

2005-06

23 sets of consultancy

253

60 days

2004-05

22 sets of consultancy

241

40 days

2003-04

15 sets of consultancy

125

35 days

2002-03

7 sets of consultancy

2,594

150 days

Letter from Iain MacGregor, dated 13 December 2007:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) to your question regarding how many staff were employed on a consultancy basis in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest time was for which a consultant was employed in each year.

NWML employed staff on consultancy basis in each of the last five years as follows:

Number

Longest days

Average days

2002

Not available

2003

Not available

2004

2 consultants

1.5

1.25

2005

3 consultants

2

1.5

2006

2 consultants

9.5

6

Letter from Ron Marchant, dated 13 December 2007:

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what the Department’s annual budget is for employing workers on a consultancy basis; and how much of this budget has been used in each of the last five years for which records are available.

The Patent Office does not employ staff on a consultancy basis. Some professional service companies have been engaged for short term projects but any individuals are not under our direct control.

Letter from Desmond Flynn, dated 13 December 2007:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply to you directly on behalf of The Insolvency Service in respect of your question (2006/136), asking how many staff were employed on a consultancy basis in his Department and each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the average and longest period was for which a consultant was employed in each year.

Individuals and companies are engaged as consultants on ad hoc basis to undertake specific pieces of work. The number and duration of their engagements varies from activity to activity. The information you request is not collected and could only be collected at disproportionate cost.