§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total cost to his Department was of the use of external consultants in 2002. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The costs to HM Treasury for external consultants were as follows:
Year £000 1995–961 1,900 1996–97 1,032 1997–98 1,160 1998–99 1,789 1999–2000 1,489 2000–01 1,667 2001–02 1,160 2002–032 1,972 1 These figures include expenditure incurred on professional fees in connection with the privatisation programme. 2 To date.
The current year's figure includes an exceptional number of projects related to cyclical investment in Treasury's IT system. For example we have upgraded our financial accounting and the Economic Forecasting Database (£304,482). In previous years, spend was dominated by large policy projects, rather than replacing IT systems.