§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is his estimate of the expenditure of his(a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies on external consultants in (i) 1995–96, (ii) 1996–97, (iii) 1997–98 to date and (iv) 1997–98 full year; and if he will also estimate the cost savings resulting from the employment of such consultants for each of the above years. 
§ Mr. Hoon
The table shows the estimated expenditure figures for External Consultants during the required periods:
£ Department Agencies NDPBs (i) 1995–96 1,231,000 645,000 64,260 (ii) 1996–97 397,662 1,836,793 104,615 (iii) 1997–98 to date 415,274 1,446,467 33,541 (iv) 1997–98 (full year estimate) 783,179 2,423,730 66,595
The Agencies with expenditure were the Court Service, Public Record Office, Public Trust Office, Land Registry and Northern Ireland Court Service. The NDPBs with expenditure were ACLEC, Legal Aid Board, Law Commission, Court Service Tribunals and the Legal Aid Department for Northern Ireland. In many cases consultants are employed to contribute particular skills to an element of a much larger process. As a result their work will be only one of several factors leading to the eventual outcome. There is therefore no ready way of apportioning their particular contribution to savings achieved. Those specialists were not available from within Departmental resources.