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Departmental Consultancies

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what payments the (a) Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency, (b) Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, (c) Driving Standards Agency, (d) Vehicle Certification Agency, (e) Highways Agency, (f) Maritime and Coastguard Agency and (g) Government Car and Despatch Agency has made to (i) management consultancies, (ii) public affairs consultancies, (iii) public relations consultancies, (iv) advertising agencies and (v) other external consultancies in each of the last five years; (250282)

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

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 for Transport 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 breakdown of consultancy as requested in the question is not held centrally and to attempt to provide it now would incur 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.

Details of payments to advertising agencies are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Most payments relating to advertising expenditure are however made to the Central Office of Information.

The majority of campaign advertising investment by the Department is in support of marketing activities on the THINK! Road safety campaign, Act on CO2 campaign, Concessionary Bus Fares campaign, aviation security and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's continuous registration campaign. Advertising expenditure is the largest value component of the Department's marketing expenditure.