The Department and its agencies have spent the following amounts on external legal advice during the past five years:
Amount (£) 2002-03 1,069,261.75 2003-04 469,273.99 2004-05 1,393,392.63 2005-06 1,051,442.37 2006-07 1,021,682.01
As with all public sector procurement, contracts for external legal services should be awarded on the basis of value for money, in line with the Government's policy on public procurement.
Within the figures above, one branch provided an overall figure for external legal advice and court representation as they had no means of providing a breakdown to show external legal advice only.
Public Prosecution Service NI were unable to provide a response to this question as it would not be feasible to disaggregate what was spent on advice and what was spent on the conduct of prosecutions. For them to do so would be grossly misleading as advice and the conduct of prosecutions are generally intimately intertwined and not capable of disaggregation.