HC Deb 22 May 1990 vol 173 cc99-100W
Mr. Tom Clarke

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will list the companies so far commissioned by Her Majesty's Government to provide professional assistance under the terms of the enterprise initiative;

(2) how much the Government have so far spent in the form of direct payments to companies under the terms of the enterprise initiative;

(3) how many requests for assistance the Government have received under the terms of the enterprise initiative; and what proportion have enjoyed Government support;

(4) if he will list the names of all those companies which have so far received more than (a) 10, (b) 50 and (c) 100 commissions from the Government under the terms of the enterprise initiative.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

Between the launch of the assisted consultancy scheme under the enterprise initiative on 13 January 1988 and 31 March 1990, 47,994 applications were received of which one third had at that date completed their consultancy projects. The Department's contribution to the cost of these projects was £49.9 million. Payments are made via independent scheme contractors to the consultants commissioned to undertake projects, and not directly to the client companies.

It is not our practice to provide details of the consultancy firms used by scheme contractors to undertake assisted consultancy projects. This is to avoid the risk of appearing to bestow a form of Government approval or endorsement, to the unfair disadvantage of practices no less competent but which for one reason or another are not associated with the scheme.