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Departmental Consultants

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 12 November 2008, Official Report, column 1209W, on departmental consultants, how much his Department, its agencies and executive non-departmental public bodies spent on external consultants between May 2007 and March 2008. (243395)

Information is collated on an annual basis from April to March. In the period April 2007 to March 2008, my Department, its agencies and executive non-departmental public bodies spent £4,419,074 on external consultants.

The Northern Ireland Office formalised its approach to the employment of consultants when it introduced its “Policy on the Use of External Consultants/Professional Services” in July 2006. Staff throughout the department are now more conscious of the public interest in the subject and of the need for a strong case before considering the employment of consultants.