HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 cc30-3W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the number, nature and total value of contracts awarded by his Department to (a) Coopers and Lybrand, (b)KMPG,(c) Price Waterhouse, (d) Ernst and Young, (e) Deloitte and Touche, (f) Arthur Andersen, (g) Grant Thornton, (h)BDO,(i) Stoy Hayward, (j) Pannel Kerr Forster and (k) Robson Rhodes and their subsidiaries and associates during 1995 and 1996. [37336]

Mr. Lang

Only data on external consultancy contracts are held centrally and the following information for the companies in question is available:

Company Number of contracts in 1995
Coopers and Lybrand 1
Price Waterhouse 0
Ernst and Young 4
Deloitte and Touche 3
Arthur Andersen 0
Grant Thornton 0
Stay Hayward 2
Pannel Kerr Forster 2
Robson Rhodes 0

The total value of the contracts was £3,613,000.

Company Number of contracts in 1996
Ernst and Young 1

The total value of the contracts is £104,000.

Commercial sensitivity prevents the disclosure of individual contract details. Information on other contracts can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The information does not include contracts let by the Department's executive agencies, and I have asked the chief executives to reply separately to this question.

Letter from P. R. S. Hartnack to Mr. Austin Mitchell, dated 22 July 1996: I am replying for the Patent Office to your Parliamentary Question to the President of the Board of Trade about contracts placed with various named consultants.

Firms Purpose 1994–95 Value of contract (including VAT) 1995–96
Coopers and Lybrand Accountancy support £60,000
Price Waterhouse User survey £124,800
Ernst and Young Accountancy support £13,100
CSL (subsidiary of Deloitte and Touche) Contracted out accounting services £88,812
Stoy Hayward Contracting out and management consultancy £94,150
Total £292,050 £88,812
The £60,000 payment to Coopers and Lybrand for accountancy support for the Agency was in and about the setting up of systems to enable it to produce commercial style accounts. The £13,100 paid to Ernst and Young for accountancy support was to provide independent professional assurance that financial data had been properly transferred to The Service's new computer system for its Central Accounting Unit.
The contract with CSL is for 5 years from 1 April 1995. The £88,812 paid in 1995–96 is for services provided in the year. The costs of the services are largely volume related.

The Patent Office has used two companies listed. In 1996 KPMG were given a single contract valued at £5000 for training advice on job search workshops. In the years 1995 and 1996, Coopers and Lybrand have been used for two contracts. The first addressed the contractorisation of our London Front Office and was completed this year. The total cost of this contract amounted to £55,700 of which £30,000 related to 1995 and £27,500 to 1996. The second was for advice on the possible contractorisation of IT services and has totalled £58,000 so far in 1996.

Letter from Jim Norton to Mr. Austin Mitchell, dated 22 July 1996:

The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply on behalf of the Radiocommunications Agency to your Parliamentary Question about the Agency's use of various firms.2 In 1995 the Agency contracted with the following subsidiaries of Deloitte and Touche:CSL Managed Services Ltd for the provision of accountancy and financial services valued at between £800-£1m ex-VAT over a period of five years; and

Touche Ross Management Consultants for a study into the development of channel communication quality limits valued at £56.5k ex-VAT

Letter from John S. Holden to Mr. Austin Mitchell, dated 22 July 1996: You recently asked the President of the Board of Trade for information about contracts awarded to various organisations. I am replying as Chief Executive of Companies House Executive Agency. No contracts were awarded by Companies House to any of the firms listed in 1995 or 1996.

Letter from Zélie Armstrong to Mr. Austin Mitchell, dated 22 July 1996: The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory to your questions about the number, nature and value of contracts awarded to those companies listed for the years 1995 and 1996. This Agency has not awarded a contract to any of the companies listed in your question.

Letter from Desmond Flynn to Mr. Austin Mitchell, dated 22 July 1996: The President of the Board of Trade has asked Peter Joyce, The Insolvency Service Agency Chief Executive, to reply to your question about expenditure on external consultants and the number, nature and total of contracts awarded to named firms in 1995 and 1996 by The Insolvency Service. I am replying in Mr. Joyce's absence on leave. Details of contracts awarded to the named firms are: