§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what contracts her Department has had since 1997 with(a) Arthur Andersen and (b) Accenture for (i) accountancy, (ii) audit and (iii) consultancy work; and what staff have been seconded (A) to her Department from and (B) from her Department to these firms. 
§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
Arthur Andersen was part of a consortium (including Birmingham City Council and APS Keele) contracted to the Department to provide consultancy services to failing local education authorities following critical Ofsted inspections. The contract was agreed in May 1999; Arthur Andersen withdrew from the consortium in January 2001. Apart from that, the Department has had no contracts with Arthur Andersen or Accenture for the services specified, nor have any staff been seconded to or from my Department to these firms during the period in question.