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Departmental Consultants

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) consultants and (b) agency staff were employed by her Department at the end of (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07 financial year. (192504)

The Department does not hold a central record of the number of (a) consultants and (b) agency staff deployed, and to assemble the requested details from individual contract records would incur disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on (a) consultants and (b) agency staff in the financial years (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07. (192620)

The Home Department engages consultancy firms to support and augment civil servants in the delivery of a specific range of work, including large IT development programmes and, where more cost effective, longer term service delivery programmes.

The Department’s expenditure on these services is allocated across a wide range of firms, from small, specialist companies with niche expertise and few employees, to global multinational organizations offering a broad spectrum and substantial depth of consultancy expertise.

The Department awards contracts in competition according to the EU Procurement Directives based on value for money. The Department uses OGC framework agreements where appropriate. The use of external consultants provides the Department with specialist knowledge, skill, capacity and technical expertise that would not otherwise be available. Some expenditure is on consultants to whom we have outsourced services, such as IT.

Expenditure on (a) consultants in the financial years (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07 is as follows:

£

Financial year

HO headquarters

IPS

CRB

Total spend

2004-05

55,991,869

4,486,183

729,000

61 ,207,052

2005-06

128,000,000

10,912,741

50,462

138,963,203

2006-07

118,000,000

29,870,522

144,235

148,014,757

The Home Department uses a variety of externally resourced staff to fill roles in the Department that cannot readily be filled by permanent staff. The figures given are drawn from our financial reporting systems and represent various categories of agency and other externally resourced staff, but exclude consultancy services.

Expenditure on (b) agency staff in the financial years (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07 is as follows:

£

Financial year

HO headquarters

IPS

CRB

Total spend

2004-05

37,000,000

5,626,207

703,756

43,329,963

2005-06

38,000,000

7,746,589

354,756

46,101,345

2006-07

40,000,000

26,612,732

301 ,998

66,914,730