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Departmental Consultants

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how much was spent by his Department on (a) consultants and (b) agency staff in 2008-09; (279236)

(2) how much (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on external consultancy in 2008-09;

(3) how much the National Offender Management Scheme spent on consultants in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09.

The information requested is set out as follows:


The Ministry’s provisional expenditure on external consultants in 2008-09 is £53,600,000. This is disclosed in the Ministry of Justice Departmental Annual Report 2008-09 on page 72 which can be found in the following link:

This amount covers the Ministry of Justice HQ, HM Courts Service, Tribunals Service, and the National Offender Management Service. This figure is an early estimate and will be subject to change.

The Office of Government Commerce collates data on consultancy expenditure as part of its Consultancy Value programme which assists Departments in driving greater value from Government’s use of consultants. The Ministry’s expenditure on consultancy for 2007-08 is reported as £56 million and can be found in the following link: value_programme.asp

The finalised figures for 2008-09 will be available on this website in due course. A manual data collection exercise for this period is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2009 with the data expected at 31 October 2009.

Expenditure on external consultants by the National Offender Management Service in the financial year 2007-08 was £6.9 million of which £3.5 million relates to HM Prison Service. These figures were provided in a written answer by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Justice (Mr. Wills) to the hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. Browne) on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1655W. Data for April 2008 to March 2009 are expected at 31 October 2009.

Agency Staff

The final audited figures for agency staff expenditure will be reported in the Ministry’s 2008-09 resource accounts which are expected to be laid before Parliament by the summer recess. Draft figures are shown as follows:

Draft figures (£)

Ministry of Justice HQ


HM Courts Service


Tribunals Service


Office of the Public Guardian


National Offenders Management Service




This expenditure represents a reduction of 18 per cent. compared to the figure reported in 2007-08.

As part of the Ministry of Justice’s ongoing Performance and Efficiency programme to deliver £l billion of savings to March 2011 we are looking at ways to reduce people costs, including cutting back on interim and contract staff. However, in specific circumstances consultancy support offers MOJ a fast and flexible way of obtaining skills and experience that are not available in house. All contracts, in such cases, are let with best value for money in mind and follow established Office of Government Commerce frameworks.