HL Deb 07 February 1994 vol 551 c109WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether it is the case that, as reported in the press, one half of the budget of the Technology Foresight Programme is going to pay consultants' fees; if not, what proportion of the budget does go to paying consultants' fees; who are these consultants and what are their qualifications; and whether these consultants' reports are subjected to peer review within the science community as a whole.

The Minister of State, Department for Education (Baroness Blatch)

Following competitive tender, OST appointed Segal Quince Wicksteed and PREST to assist it with work preparatory to the main Foresight Programme. OST also intends to appoint consultants later this year to assist with running the main Foresight Programme. The consultants are working and will work to a detailed task specification prepared by the OST which, with the Technology Foresight Steering Group of independent experts, retains overall control and direction, and considers advice offered by the consultants. The consultants' main contribution is on matters of organisation, methodology and procedure. The cost of employing the consultants, both this year and next year, is likely to be less than half (30–40 per cent.) of the total costs of the Technology Foresight Programme to the OST over this period.