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External Consultants

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what payments the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has made to external consultants in each of the last five years (a) in total and (b) broken down by payments to (i) management consultancies, (ii) public affairs consultancies, (iii) public relations consultancies, (iv) advertising agencies and (v) other organisations; (241553)

(2) what payments his Department has made to external consultancies in each of the last five years, broken down by payments to (a) management consultancies, (b) public affairs consultancies, (c) public relations consultancies, (d) advertising agencies and (e) other consultancies;

(3) what payments the Driving Standards Agency has made to external consultancies in each of the last five years, broken down by payments to (a) management consultancies, (b) public affairs consultancies, (c) public relations consultancies, (d) advertising agencies and (e) other consultancies;

(4) what payments the Vehicle Certification Agency has made to external consultancies in each of the last five years, broken down by payments to (a) management consultancies, (b) public affairs consultancies, (c) public relations consultancies, (d) advertising agencies and (e) other consultancies;

(5) what payments the Highways Agency has made to external consultancies in each of the last five years, broken down by payments to (a) management consultancies, (b) public affairs consultancies, (c) public relations consultancies, (d) advertising agencies and (e) other consultancies;

(6) what payments the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has made to external consultancies in each of the last five years, broken down by payments to (a) management consultancies, (b) public affairs consultancies, (c) public relations consultancies, (d) advertising agencies and (e) other consultancies;

(7) what payments the Government Car and Despatch Agency has made to external consultancies in each of the last five years, broken down by payments to (a) management consultancies, (b) public affairs consultancies, (c) public relations consultancies, (d) advertising agencies and (e) other consultancies;

(8) what payments the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency has made to external consultancies in each of the last five years, broken down by payments to (a) management consultancies, (b) public affairs consultancies, (c) public relations consultancies, (d) advertising agencies and (e) other consultancies.

Total expenditure by the central Department and its agencies on consultants in each of the last five financial years is shown in the following table.

£ million

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

DfT Central

58.5

65.2

64.0

53.6

51.0

Highways Agency

169.7

115.0

2.4

1.7

2.0

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

3.4

4.8

1.9

18.0

18.4

Driving Standards Agency

4.0

3.6

1.2

5.1

3.5

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

3.0

3.4

1.4

3.0

3.7

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

0.8

1.2

1.0

1.3

1.5

Vehicle Certification Agency

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Government Car and Despatch Agency (joined DfT from 2005-06)

n/a

n/a

0.1

0.1

0.1

Total

239.5

193.3

72.1

82.9

80.3

Expenditure figures from 2005-06 exclude Central Department and Highways Agency spend on technical transport related consultancy. Expenditure by the Highways Agency on engineering consultancy is scored as outsourced procurement of specialist services.

Lists have been placed in the Libraries of the House which show the supplier and (where possible) the value and the nature of the consultancy work recorded within the Department and its Agencies accounting systems as consultancy during the four financial years between 2004-05 and 2007-08. Similar data for 2003-04 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Business Units within the Department currently use separate accounting systems which record expenditure differently. The totals include a mixture of committed spend (i.e. orders raised) and actual spend incurred. The Professional Services Forum definition of consultancy has been applied since 2005-06 resulting in more accurate coding of expenditure.