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Departmental Legal Costs

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what expenditure his Department and its agencies have incurred on external legal advice and representation in each year since 1997; and for what purposes such professional services have been commissioned. (300576)

The requested detail for years 1996-97 to 2001-02 is not available. However, the Department's expenditure on external legal services for 2002-03 to 2008-09 is set out in the following table.

Home Office numbers for the years 2002-03 to 2006-07 include the National Offenders Management Service and the Office of Criminal Justice Reform which transferred from the Home Office to Ministry of Justice on nine May 2007. These costs could not be identified separately without incurring disproportionate cost.

This figure does not include the cost to the Home Office of litigation or other legal services provided by the Treasury Solicitor or elsewhere within Government.

The purposes for which such services have been commissioned relate principally to legal advice, such as advice on commercial projects.

Legal costs are incurred in accordance with guidance, issued by Attorney-General, on what constitutes core Government business and the use of the private sector for government legal work.

Home Office expenditure on external legal services,

£ thousand

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Home Office

10,067

11,505

17,362

28,075

23,614

2,856

2,229

Identity and Passport Service

98

292

363

766

1,214

3,460

3,880

Criminal Records Bureau

0

0

8

35

29

25

97