Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Information is not available for the full period covered by the question. According to the best information available, our total expenditure on external consultants in 1992 93 was £3.531 million at 1993 94 prices.
Consultants are used in a variety of activities designed to produce different benefits. Much of their work is linked to the requirements of Government programmes such as training and designing IT systems, rather than simply cost-cutting exercises. In addition, consultants are often only one of a number of contributory elements in projects that may produce savings. In these circumstances, it is not possible to quantify the annual savings which have resulted from the use of consultants.
The Lord Chancellor is responsible for three agencies: Her Majesty's Land Registry, the Public Record Office and the Public Trust Office. As the question concerns specific operational matters on which the chief executives of the three agencies are best placed to provide answers, I have accordingly asked the chief executives to reply direct.
Letter from Julia C. Lomas to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 7 February 1995:
The Parliamentary Secretary, of the Lord Chancellor's Department has asked me to reply to you as part of the Lord Chancellor's Department's response to your parliamentary question listed on 6 February 1995, regarding expenditure on external consultants. The Public Trust Office's (PTO) expenditure since 1987 is as follows:
|Spend in Year |Consultants |Actual spend |1994 prices ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1992-93 |Ernst and Young |26,508.00 |27,865.49 |P-E International|6,110.00 |6,422.90 |Total |32,618.00 |34,288.39 1993-94 |Ernst and Young |1,917.60 |1,955.95 |P-E International|8,460.00 |8,629.20 |Total |10,377.60 |10,585.15 1994-95 |Price Waterhouse |65,742.55 |65,742.55 |Total |65,742.55 |65,742.55
The Price Waterhouse report is still under discussion and decision are expected in the next month. The P-E International work resulted in savings of £91 kpa. The Ernst Young project did not lead to quantifiable reduction in cost. However it enabled the PTO to establish a corporate planning process which has helped us to plan for and achieve Executive Agency status without any additional cost in overall terms.
Letter from John Manthorpe to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 8 February 1995:
Parliamentary Question--Expenditure On Consultants in HM Land Registry--
I have been asked by the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, to reply to your recent question concerning expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, since 1987. I can provide the following information:
|Cost at |Actual |1994 |Cost |prices Year |£ |£ -------------------------------- 1987-88 |17,956 |25,719 1988-89 |37,149 |49,872 1989-90 |42,900 |53,833 1990-91 |48,062 |55,836 1991-92 |98,539 |107,710 1992-93 |54,224 |57,001 1993-94 |157,022|160,162
HM Land Registry has not used consultancy services extensively (the actual cost in 1993 94, for instance, represented only 0.08% of its total expenditure) and its main engagements are for specialist tuition and information Systems business services--the latter being provided throughout the period by the Government Centre for Information Systems (CCTA), particularly providing advice and services on procurement. Consequently, it has not been possible to quantify annual cost savings. Consultants' services have made a contribution to the overall cost savings achieved by the Registry which, for example, in 1993 94, amounted to a 2.97% reduction in unit costs in real terms over the previous year, equivalent to an overall saving of £5.9 million.
I do hope that this answers the points raised with the Parliamentary Secretary but please contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
Letter from Sarah Tyacke to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 8 February 1995:
Parliamentary Question: Expenditure on External Consultants I have been asked by the Lord Chancellor's Parliamentary Secretary to reply to your question about expenditure on external consultants since 1987, and the quantified annual cost savings which have resulted from this expenditure.
1. The Public Record Office's annual expenditure on consultants (in 1994 prices) was:
1986 87: nil
1987 88: nil
1988 89: £80,276
1989 90: £46,745
1990 91: £243,000
1991 92: £349,111
1992 93: £971,568
1993 94: £674,305
2. The above includes £87,954 spent over 1992 93 and 1993 94 on consultancy to support the market testing programme, which has resulted in an annualised net saving of £291,000 per annum.
Column 3393. Other consultancies have been to carry out necessary specialised work beyond this department's normal scope, rather than to realise direct cost savings. They have related primarily to the construction of a new building, also to the installation of computer systems and training.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the actual annual expenditure on Government legal departments in each year since 1979, in 1994 prices; and if he will provide the breakdown of such expenditures between (a) courts services, (b) legal aid, (c) magistrates courts and (d) salaries of the judiciary; and if he will provide similarly tabulated data showing expenditures on the Public Record Office.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The readily available figures for the Lord Chancellor's Department are those published in the Government's expenditure plans. They are set out in table 1. Column (a) is net of receipts and includes court building. To allow comparisons between years, the figures have been adjusted to include superannuation contributions, inter- departmental transfers and the transfer of responsibility for magistrates courts from the Home Office in 1992. Figures for the Northern Ireland court service are set out in table 2. The Northern Ireland court service took over responsibility for legal aid in April 1982 and before that figures are not available. Column (a) includes the magistrates courts, which in Northern Ireland are an integral part of the court service and separate figures are not available.
Figures for the Public Record Office are shown in table 3.
Table 1-Lord Chancellor's Department £ million |(a) |(b) |(c) |(d) |(e) |Salaries of the Year |Court services |Legal aid |Magistrates courts|judiciary |Total expenditure ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |132 |295 |192 |22 |631 1980-81 |141 |351 |212 |29 |733 1981-82 |131 |388 |214 |30 |763 1982-83 |118 |380 |208 |32 |738 1983-84 |159 |400 |216 |32 |807 1984-85 |167 |447 |219 |34 |867 1985-86 |166 |486 |224 |40 |916 1986-87 |169 |537 |237 |46 |989 1987-88 |204 |598 |246 |48 |1,096 1988-89 |250 |630 |200 |49 |1,129 1989-90 |283 |700 |204 |47 |1,234 1990-91 |322 |780 |285 |48 |1,435 1991-92 |382 |971 |297 |51 |1,701 1992-93 |415 |1,123 |293 |53 |1,884 1993-94 |391 |1,212 |290 |55 |1,948 Source: Government's expenditure plans.
Table 2-Northern Ireland Court Service £ million |(a) |(b) |(d) |(e) |Salaries of the Year |Court services |Legal aid |judiciary |Total expenditure ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |9 |- |2 |11 1980-81 |13 |- |2 |15 1981-82 |14 |- |2 |16 1982-83 |14 |7 |2 |23 1983-84 |14 |11 |2 |27 1984-85 |13 |9 |2 |24 1985-86 |12 |12 |2 |26 1986-87 |15 |12 |3 |30 1987-88 |17 |13 |3 |33 1988-89 |19 |17 |3 |39 1989-90 |20 |15 |3 |38 1990-91 |22 |16 |3 |41 1991-92 |20 |17 |3 |40 1992-93 |21 |22 |3 |46 1993-94 |23 |18 |3 |44 Source: Appropriation accounts and Government's expenditure plans.
Table 3 Public Record Office £ million Year |Total expenditure ------------------------------------------------------ 1979-80 |5 1980-81 |6 1981-82 |6 1982-83 |6 1983-84 |14 1984-85 |15 1985-86 |15 1986-87 |15 1987-88 |15 1988-89 |13 1989-90 |20 1990-91 |22 1991-92 |23 1992-93 |27 1993-94 |36 Source: Supply estimates. Notes: 1. 1993-94 prices-adjusted by the GDP deflator published 29 November 1994.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The impact of care in the community on local housing policies was raised with my Department by a number of local authorities during meetings to discuss the 1995 95 housing investment programme.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many houses in Sandwell are in a condition qualifying them for repairs or renovation grants; and what is the average cost per household and grants.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The only data on condition available are Sandwell's estimates of the number of private sector unfit dwellings which, subject to the household test of resources, would be eligible for a mandatory renovation grant. The authority estimated that there were 13,600 dwellings in this category at 1 April 1994. The average mandatory renovation grant payment in England is £8,600; this relates to grants where final payment was made during the financial year 1993 94.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further consideration he has given to introducing a system of dog licensing in England and Wales similar to the scheme operating in Northern Ireland.
Sir Paul Beresford: About 340 letters have been received by the planning inspectorate requesting a wide-ranging inquiry into UK Nirex's planning appeal against Cumbria county council's refusal of permission for the rock characterisation facility.
Mr. Atkins: Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution is investigating the origins of the depleted uranium swarf found in a field at Poplar farm, Chelveston, Northamptonshire. It has uncovered evidence which may point to the likely source of at least some of the material. However, the investigation is continuing and at this stage it would be premature to release information until all the evidence has been fully substantiated and future action decided.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will issue directives to enforcing agencies to ensure that the deadline of 1 October set out in guidance note PG5/1 relating to clinical waste incinerators is enforced in a rigorous and timely manner;
(2) if he will make it his policy to remove any disparities of environmental standards imposed on clinical waste incinerators of differing sizes by guidance note PG5/1 and regulations IPR5/2.
Mr. Atkins: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) by the Under Secretary of State for the Environment on 19 January 1995, Official Report , column 659 .
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if local planning authorities have an obligation to protect the local community from the effects arising from opencast mining sites and other large land obligations.
Sir Paul Beresford: Mineral planning guidance note 3 advises mineral planning authorities to take into account the effect of opencast coal mining on local communities, together with any steps that the operator proposes to take to minimise these effects, before deciding whether
Column 343planning permission should be granted for opencast coal proposals. Where permission is granted, appropriate planning conditions should be attached to the permission to protect the interests of local communities. In addition, the Coal Industry Act 1994 imposes an environmental duty on the coal industry, and mineral planning authorities are required to have regard to the extent to which the operator has complied with the duty.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy in respect of the obligation of bonds imposed by local planning authority on the owners of opencast mining sites and other large land obligations for the restoration of such sites.
Sir Paul Beresford: It is Government policy that sites used for opencast mining should be properly restored to a beneficial use when extraction has ceased. This policy objective should normally be achieved through implementation by the mineral operators of appropriate planning conditions attached to the permissions. Therefore local authorities should not usually have to require a bond to secure site restoration, in addition, through a planning agreement or obligation.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987 in 1994 prices, for his Department and its agencies; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
Mr. Gummer: Amounts set aside by local authorities as provision for credit liabilities under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 may be applied to meet liabilities in respect of borrowing and credit arrangements. Such amounts may also be applied to meet capital expenditure, subject to the use of a credit approval. However, authorities with no long- term debt and negative credit ceiling may spend or transfer their provision for credit liabilities in accordance with regulations under the 1989 Act.
Mr Ian Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what response was received to the consultation paper on the appointment of members of valuation tribunals in England; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The list of responses received has been placed in the Library of the House; copies of individual responses may be obtained from my Department's Library. In addition, one response was submitted by an individual on a confidential basis. Amendments to regulations will be introduced shortly to give effect to the following measures: the limit on billing
Column 344authority members to one third of the total membership is to be extended to include county councillors; to extend the period of membership of a chairman at the end of his or her appointment until a replacement has been re-elected; the president, on election, is to fill the post of one of the chairmen; tribunals may elect a deputy president from one of the chairmen; employees may not be appointed as members; and the president may apply to the Secretary of State for a case to be heard by a different tribunal if it involves a former member or employee.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to provide exemptions from waste management licensing for the recovery of scrap metal and the dismantling of waste motor vehicles; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins: On 8 November 1994, I published a consultation paper setting out our proposals for exemptions from waste management licensing under part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for the recovery of scrap metal and the dismantling of waste motor vehicles. We have considered the responses to that consultation exercise and have now laid before Parliament the Waste Management Licensing (Amendment etc.) Regulations 1995, S.I 1995 No. 288. The Government's policy is that the controls applied to waste should be proportionate to the risks involved and the benefits to be obtained and should not impose unjustifiable or disproportionate burdens on those subject to control, especially small businesses. The scrap metal and waste motor vehicle dismantling industry plays an important role in the recovery of waste.
The aim of the exemptions from licensing provided in the regulations is to encourage the recovery of scrap metal where the industry's activities do not pose a threat to the environment or human health. To ensure that this aim is fulfilled, the exemptions we have provided specify the types and quantities of waste and the conditions under which the industry's activities will be exempt. Any scrap metal or waste motor vehicle dismantling yards which do not meet these conditions will be subject to waste management licensing. Our consultation paper invited comments on whether the fragmentisation of scrap metal and waste motor vehicles should be the subject of an exemption. We have considered the comments made on this issue. Our conclusion is that it would not be appropriate to provide an exemption for fragmentisation and that this activity should remain subject to licensing.
The main purpose of the regulations is to provide exemptions for scrap metal recovery, but they make certain other provisions. These provisions include an extension of the transitional arrangements which exempt certain people from the requirement to demonstrate technical competence when applying for a waste management licence. The new exemptions will apply to people who have managed waste facilities authorised under part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and managers of facilities which did not need a licence under the Control of Pollution Act 1974. The regulations also extend the list of equipment prescribed as mobile plant for the treatment or disposal of waste.
Column 345We will publish as soon as possible a circular providing guidance on the regulations and waste management paper No. 4A, which will provide guidance on those scrap metal recovery activities remaining subject to licensing.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Prime Minister what are his latest estimates of the expenditure on all external consultants, including management consultants, for each year since 1987, in 1994 prices, for his Department; and what are the quantified annual cost savings which such expenditure has resulted in.
The Prime Minister: This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall be having further meetings later today.
The Prime Minister: The Government announced in Cm. 2748 presented to Parliament on 26 January that they intended to introduce new arrangements for the pay of Permanent Secretaries from 1 April, and that they would make a further announcement in conjunction with its response to the report of the senior salaries review body. The Government have now considered the recommendations of the review body.
As foreshadowed in the Command Paper, a remuneration committee will be established to advise Ministers on where individual permanent secretaries should be placed within the pay range. The full terms of reference are given.
The final decisions on the pay of individual permanent secretaries will be for the Government, who expect normally to accept the recommendations of the committee.
There will be five members of the committee--three members of the review body, the head of the civil service and the head of the Treasury. The chairman of the review body will normally chair the committee.
The three external members will, sitting alone, make
recommendations to the Government on the salaries of the Heads of the civil service, the Treasury and the diplomatic service.
Sir Michael Perry, who will succeed Lord Nickson as chairman of the review body in April, has agreed to chair the committee. Mr. Gordon Hourston and Ms Yve Newbold, both members of the review body, have agreed
Column 346to serve on it. I am grateful to all of them for undertaking this important additional task.
The review body proposed a pay range of £90,000-£150,000. The Government accept this recommendation. The salaries of individual posts will be published in £5,000 bands once each year in the following annual report of the review body. Parallel arrangements will be made for the most senior ambassadors.
Terms of Reference of the Remuneration Committee
1. There shall be a committee on the pay of Permanent Secretaries of whom the members will be:
3 members of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB);
the Heads of the Home Civil Service and Treasury.
2. The chairman of the committee will be one of the members, normally the Chairman, of the SSRB.
Remit: Permanent Secretaries other than the Heads of the Home Civil Service, the Diplomatic Service and the Treasury
3. The purpose of the committee is for the three SSRB members to make proposals to Ministers on the pay of individual Permanent Secretaries save insofar as their pay is determined by the terms of an individual appointment.
4. The pay of Permanent Secretaries will be accommodated within the pay range to be determined from time to time by the Government. The committee may not propose other forms of remuneration or benefit than pay falling within this range.
5. In making proposals the committee shall take the following factors into account in relation to individuals:
the relative level of responsibility of the post occupied; the performance of the Department in executing the policy of Ministers and the personal contribution the individual has made in terms of policy advice and efficient management, including where appropriate meeting the measured objectives of the Department; the experience of the individual in the present post or in others occupied at Permanent Secretary/Head of Department Level;
in the case of those newly promoted, the level of pay in their previous post;
any views which the Minister, to whom the Permanent Secretary is principally responsible, may wish to offer to the committee; the individual's own assessment of his/her achievements and the main requirements of the job.
6. The committee should also take into account these wider factors:
the pay levels of other staff in the Senior Civil Service, and in particular those immediately below Permanent Secretary;
the increases recently given to, or likely to be given, in the period ahead, to civil servants generally, and the pay progression available to them;
the extent of the change for any individual as well as the absolute level of pay, and the presentation of both;
any movement in the pay range as a whole;
the nature and terms of the Civil Service pension scheme; any statements made by the Government on public sector pay; the maintenance of the confidence of the individual, that recommendations have been properly and fairly determined;
the need to ensure recommendations are consistent with the Government's equal opportunities policy.
Remit : Pay of Civil Service members of the Remuneration Committee and Head of the Diplomatic Service
7. The SSRB members of the committee will, sitting alone, make proposals to Ministers on the pay of the Heads of the Home Civil