§ Matthew Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 March,Official Report, column 1391, on temporary staff, if she will list the amounts spent by her Department on (a) temporary staff and (b) consultants for each year; if she will publish the job descriptions of 588W the consultants hired by her Department in (i) 2001–02, (ii) 2002–03 and (iii) 2003–04; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Alun Michael
I am sorry the answer I gave the hon. Member on 9 March,Official Report, column 1391W, incorrectly included reference to consultants and did not accurately record the expenditure on temporary staff.
The correct figures from the Departmental accounts show payments to employment agencies for the supply of temporary staff for the three financial years as:
- 2001–02: £18.01 million
- 2002–03: £13.11 million, and
- 2003–04: £9.62 million respectively.
The figure for 2003–04 covers the period April to December 2004 only. Once financial year end reconciliations are complete, I can write to the hon. Member with the expenditure for the last three months of the financial year
The job descriptions of the consultants hired by the Department in 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04 are not held centrally and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.