HC Deb 18 May 1994 vol 243 cc481-2W
Mr. Byers

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many current and former officials and Ministers in his Department have been asked to give written or oral evidence to the Scott inquiry; and what have been the total costs to his Department of the Scott inquiry broken down by major expenditure heading;

(2) how many employees have worked on a full- or part-time basis with the Scott inquiry liaison unit set up within his Department; when the unit was established; and when its work will be completed.

Sir John Cope

[holding answer 12 and 13 May 1994]Five current or former Treasury Ministers—the Prime Minister, the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Clarke), Lord Howe, the right hon. Member for St. Albans (Mr. Lilley) and the right hon. and learned Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor) have been asked to give written or oral evidence to Lord Justice Scott's Inquiry. Only one of these Ministers—the right hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Major)—gave evidence in respect of his time as a Treasury Minister. One current Treasury official and 17 current and former officials of HM Customs and Excise have been asked to give written and/or oral evidence to the Scott inquiry. They have given this evidence on a personal basis and have not been supervised by the Department in its preparation. There is therefore no central record of the time spent or cost incurred in the provision of such evidence; serving officials prepared and gave their evidence as part of their official duties.

The direct central cost of providing evidence and information from HM Treasury to the inquiry is estimated to be £90,800 between November 1992 and March 1994. This represents the cost of staff time spent in providing information to the inquiry and the costs of photocopying and general presentation of the information. Four officials plus clerical and secretarial staff have been involved on a full or part-time basis as required. A separate liaison unit has not been created.

The total cost of Customs and Excise Scott liaison unit has been to date, £423,400 which consists of £420,000 on personnel; £2,700 on transcripts of the oral evidence, and £700 for photocopying. The Scott liaison unit in HM Customs and Excise consists of seven posts which are filled on a full or part-time basis. The unit was set up in the middle of November 1992 and its work will continue until the Department judges that it has been completed.

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