§ Mr. Liddell-Grainger
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost of consultants used by his Department was in financial year 2002–03. 
§ Yvette Cooper
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) came into existence following the Machinery of Government changes on 29 May 2002. The estimated cost, subject to final audit, of consultants used by the Office in the period 1 June 2002 to 31 March 2003 was £8,922,000. Consultants are used to bring in additional expertise and help across a wide range of the Office's responsibilities. A few examples of the areas of work where consultants are employed are:
- (a) evaluation of Local Authority statutory service and policy planning requirements;
- (b) setting up of the NRU website "renewal.net";
- (c) use of arboricultural consultant Inspectors to provide advice to the Secretary of State on tree preservation order appeals;
- (d) providing senior Bain Review team members and conducting the comparisons between firefighter's pay levels and those in the economy generally;
- (e) using expertise within local authorities and suppliers to local authorities to advise on local E-Government.
- (f) seeking innovative ways of delivering services on the Strategic Partnering Taskforce.
- (g) use of independent Advisory Panel members to advise on Beacon Council selection.