§ Mr. Milburn
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the cost of employing consultants in connection with market testing programmes in which his Department has been engaged since their inception. 
§ Sir John Wheeler
The information sought was published in table 4 of the market testing bulletin special report published on 9 January 1995. This covered the competing for quality programme for the period April 1992 to September 1994. The figures for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (including the Northern Ireland Office) are:
£000 External consultancy support to in-house bids 137.2 External consultancy support to Departments 554.8
An up-date of the costs incurred in the period 1 October 1994 to 31 March 1995 is currently being compiled and this will be included in the overall figures in the citizens charter 1995 report.