§ Mr. Tipping
To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will give the total cost of consultancies commissioned into the coal industry since April 1990;
(2) how much he plans to spend on consultancies into the coal industry during the current financial year.
§ Mr. Eggar
[holding answer 14 January 1993]: The Department of Energy commissioned only one consultancy on the coal industry in 1990–91, from Alan Oakes. On grounds of commercial confidentiality, the costs of individual consultancies is not released.
In 1991–92 the Department of Energy commissioned six consultancies on coal privatisation at a cost that year of £3.3 million.
A further two consultancies have been commissioned by the DTI on coal privatisation in 1992–93. The Department has also commissioned four consultancies into the coal industry as a result of the coal review. I have in addition appointed John T. Boyd to report on the 10 pits currently subject to consultation. Total expenditure on consultancies into the coal industry by the DTI in 1992–93 is currently forecast to be £6.5 million.
A number of consultants have also contributed to the Department's coal research and development programme, managed by the energy technology support unit at Harwell.