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Departmental Contracts

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 14 July 2009, Official Report, columns 320-324W, on departmental contracts, what the purpose was of the contracts worth (a) £103,885 and (b) £131,684, listed as Staff Replacements; when those funds were disbursed to TPS consult; what assessment was made of the benefits to his Department of that expenditure; and if he will make a statement. (305477)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a framework agreement for construction consultancy services with 15 companies, one of which is TPS Consult. In 2008, Estate and Security Group of FCO Services (an executive agency of the FCO operating as a trading fund) used this framework for two security cleared technical staff from TPS Consult to fill vacant slots whilst a recruitment process was carried out to fill the vacancies permanently.

Since question 285289 on 14 July, updated figures for contract (a) show that a total of £117,675 has now been paid in fourteen separate payments for the services of an electrical engineer between May 2008 and September 2009. This contract has since been terminated and a permanent incumbent recruited. Details of individual payments are contained in the attached spreadsheet for contract (a), a copy of which will be placed in the Library.

Updated figures for contract (b) show that a total of £138,612 has been paid in 12 separate payments for the services of an architectural technician between May 2008 and September 2009. This contract remains extant and is under constant review. Details of individual payments are contained in the attached spreadsheet for contract (b), a copy of which will be placed in the Library.

Assessments of benefits were made by FCO Services, in the form of the business plan and their ability to continue to provide the services they had been contracted to deliver.