§ Mr. Milburn
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate the cost of employing consultants in connection with market testing programmes in which his Department has been engaged since their inception. 
§ Sir Paul Beresford
From the inception of the market testing programme in April 1992 to 31 March 1995, departmental and agency expenditure on consultancies to support the "Competing and Quality" initiative has been almost £1.6 million. As reported in the "Market Testing Bulletin Special Report," dated January 1995, total results to the end of September 1994 have achieved annual savings of £14.6 million. In addition to the cash savings, there have been a number of improvements in the quality of services delivered.