To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will publish a statement on the responsibilities, selection, basis of remuneration and method of contract appraisal of the advisers he is currently employing on work related to the privatisation of the electricity supply industry.
Bearing in mind the fact that last year the Government spent £6 million on advisers' fees—the equivalent of employing 220 people—and that this year they intend to spend the equivalent of employing 870 advisers, it is not scandalous that Parliament is not given the information that it needs to decide whether it is getting value for money? Vast sums are being paid to Kleinwort Benson and Slaughter and May for doing God knows what and for God knows how much.
We are embarking on the huge enterprise of privatising and restructuring this massive industry. Although that information is not made available in detail to the Select Committee on Energy, it is of course available in total to the National Audit Office, which has the right and the duty to examine every item of public expenditure and say whether the Government are getting good value for money. Parliament is being accounted to, in the way that it requests, through the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee.