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Departments: Consultants

Volume 459: debated on Wednesday 2 May 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many external consultants are employed by his Department; (134563)

(2) how much his Department spent on external consultants in each year since 1997.

HM Treasury controls consultancy spending by cost, and not by headcount. Information on the total number of consultants engaged at any point in time is not held. The provisional outturn for the total spent on external consultants in 2006-07 by HM Treasury is £5.14 million. I refer to the answers given to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, Central (Mr. Cousins) on 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2128W and the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 29 November 2006, Official Report, column 721W, which detail consultancy costs for the financial years 2000-06. Figures for the years prior to 2000-01 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In line with Office of Government Commerce guidance, in 2006-07 HM Treasury changed its definition of ‘consultancy’ to include advice on design and development of services, but exclude delivery of services on a longer term contracted out basis. Figures for prior years have not been restated.