HC Deb 17 June 2004 vol 422 c1079W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department and its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on external consultants and advisers in each of the last three years. [172438]

Fiona Mactaggart

The available information held by the Home Office on the cost of using external consultants in each of the financial years; 2000–01, 2001–02 and 2002–03 is as follows:

2000–2001 27,877,286
2001–2002 21,147,058
2002–2003 N/a

The increase in expenditure on external consultancy in 2000–01 was primarily, due to costs incurred on the Home Office modernisation programme, in particular Information Technology (IT) related consultancy.

The high spend figures for 2001–02 includes the cost of setting up the National Probation Directorate and various consultancies on IT Business Change.

We do not hold information on the cost to the Home Office of using external consultants for 2002–03 and to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

The use of external consultants has helped the Department to successfully deliver projects across the office, which has resulted in improved business processes. A further benefit has been the transfer of specialist skills and knowledge to staff.