§ Mr. St. Aubyn
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what(a) quantitative and (b) qualitative analytical work his Department has commissioned from GGC/NOP since 1 May 1997; and what was (i) the cost of the contract and (ii) the specific nature of the work commissioned. 
§ Ms Stuart
[holding answer 28 March 2001]: The table shows quantitative and qualitative analytical work commissioned direct by my Department and via the Central Office of Information from GGC/NOP since 1 May 1997.
We are committed to consulting and involving the public to help inform both policy formulation and the delivery of a better quality public service. Responsive public services are an important part of the modernising government initiative.
We conduct or commission market or opinion research only when it is justified by the needs of the policy or programme and is the most economical, efficient and effective way to achieve the purpose.