§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much her Department spent on external consultants and advisers in each of the last four financial years. 
§ Marjorie Mowlam
My Department's expenditure on external consultants and advisers in each of the last four financial years is given as follows:
£ Year Expenditure on external consultants and advisers 1995–96 5,015,495 1996–97 4,708,290 1997–98 2,820,726 1998–99 5,534,507
The increase from 1997–98 to 1998–99 is largely because of new expenditure in the following areas: GCHQ consultancy services (CESG) by Central IT Unit (£1,483,858); combating the Millennium Bug expenditure by Y2K team (£502,956); and the Peoples Panel by Modernising Public Services Group (£451,812).