Wednesday, 2 November 2005

Ceisteanna (304)

Paul McGrath

Ceist:

393 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number and value of contracts awarded to outside consultants by his Department in each of the past five years; the details of the contracts involved; and if these projects have reached fruition. [31780/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Family)

The activities of the Department of Social and Family Affairs require the engagement of a range of consultancy expertise. Broadly, expertise is sought under three main headings: support with a number of strategic multi-annual programmes aimed at enhancing the delivery of the Department's services, for example, the service delivery modernisation programme; technical consultancies relating to the ongoing development of information technology systems; consultancy assistance in other areas, including policy development, advertising and information.

In the year 2005, there are over 50 projects under way involving a consultancy element. The figures for 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001 were 39, 43, 53 and 22 respectively. The amounts paid by the Department on the engagement of consultants each year since 2000 is as follows:

Year

Total Paid

2000

£1,876,000

2001

3,605,000

2002

4,704,000

2003

1,975,000

2004

2,822,000

2005 (to end of September)

2,209,565

These amounts exclude Reach and the civil registration modernisation programme which, although facilitated by my Department, are financed as interdepartmental projects from the information society fund. The detailed information sought by the Deputy about the details of the contracts involved and the current status of the projects is being compiled. A letter will issue to the Deputy in the near future.