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Departments: Consultants

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by his Department; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. (138458)

The Department does not hold a central list of what every outside agency and consultancy undertaking work in DEFRA has been or is commissioned to do. Such a list could be provided only at disproportionate cost. I have placed in the House of Commons Library a list held centrally of the outside agencies and consultancies paid fees by the core Department in 2005-06. A similar list for each of DEFRA’s executive agencies could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

I refer the hon. Member to the recently published NAO report on “Central Government’s Use of Consultants”. The Department is in the process of ensuring that it meets the recommendations contained therein.