Opinion Leader Research

Treasury written question – answered on 5th February 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Shadow Minister (Women), Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many contracts were awarded by his Department and the agencies for which it is responsible to Opinion Leader Research in each year since 1997; and what was (a) the title and purpose, (b) the cost to the public purse and (c) the date of (i) tender, (ii) award, (iii) operation and (iv) completion and report to the Department or agency in each case.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle The Exchequer Secretary, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Opinion Leader Research is an approved supplier of research and development services under a framework agreement awarded by HM Revenue and Customs and available for use by other Government Departments. The framework was awarded by using fair and open competition in accordance with the EU procurement directives. Ministers were not involved in the selection process for either the places on the framework agreement nor the individual contracts called-off from that agreement.

For the Treasury's contracts with Opinion Leader Research, I refer to the answers given by the then Financial Secretary (John Healey) to Mr. Hoban on 4 December 2006, Hansard, column 196W, and to Mr. Francois on 18 June 2007, Hansard, column 1495W.

Since 1997, the Office for National Statistics has commissioned two research projects with Opinion Leader Research. The details of the projects are:

1. Civil partnership registration—value £10,000 excluding VAT. The contract was awarded on 19 May 2005. This work was not tendered as it was within the threshold of the framework whereby competition is not required. The work was completed by 13 July 2005.

2. Utilisation of content on National Statistics website—value £37,000 excluding VAT. The work was put out to tender on 25 May 2006. The contract was awarded on 12 June 2006 and the work was completed by 11 September 2006.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was created on the 18 April 2005 from the former departments of HM Customs & Excise and Inland Revenue.

Spend for contracts awarded to Opinion Leader Research by the former Inland Revenue and since 2005 by HMRC totals £617,616 (excluding VAT). The data requested are in the following table.

None of the other Chancellor's departments or agencies have had any contracts with Opinion Leader Research in the last three years. Information on contracts, if any, with Opinion Leader Research back to 1997 could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost due to changes of accounting systems in the intervening years.

Former Inland Revenue and HMRC contracts with Opinion Leader Research
Project title Year Cost excluding VAT (£) Date put to tender Date awarded to OLR Work carried out (contract start to final payment) Completed and findings put to the Department
CSPI employers 2002-03 31,843.00 August 2002 September 2002 September 202 to February 2003 February 2003
Call-off contract (capital allowances tax law rewrite 2003-04 12,382.50 n/a (1) (1) (1)
Call-off contract (capital taxes) 2003-04 14,595.01 n/a (1) (1) (1)
LBO CT customers (qualitative) 2003-04 and 2004-05 27,678.00 November 2003 February 2004 January 2004 to April 2004 (1)
Tax credit claimants and overpayments 2004-05 19,376.00 November 2004 November 2004 November 2004 to December 2004 January 2005
Call-off contract—evolution 2004-05 50,925.01 n/a (1) February 2005 to March 2005 (1)
Call-off contract—TLR/CM 2004-05 27,150.00 n/a January 2005 January 2005 to February 2005 (1)
Call-off contract—national minimum wage 2004-05 25,462.50 n/a (1) (1) (1)
Call-off contract (capital taxes) 2004-05 6,255.01 n/a (1) April 2004 (1)
Solicitors practice in recording stamp duty land tax 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 56,450.00 November 2004 February 2005 February 2005 to June 2006 December 2006
New taxpayers (research and evaluation to support PSA1) 2004-05.and 2005-06 92,057.00 August 2004 December 2004 December 2004 to October 2005 (1)
Agents and IR online services 2004-05 and 2005-06 57,400.00 November 2004 February 2005 February 2005 to October 2005 January 2006
Student loans deduction 2004-05 40,945.00 n/k April 2004 (1) (1)
Research in support of the review of HMRC links with medium sized business 2005-06 39,275.00 n/k May 2005 May 2005 to October 2005 December 2005
Evaluation of working with the voluntary and community sector to promote take-up of new tax credits among hard to reach groups 2005-06 and 2006-07 60,708.00 August 2005 September 2005 September 2005 to August 2006 May 2006
Investigation of reporting of changes of circumstances and understanding of tax credits 2006-07 and 2007-08 55,213.50 October 2006 November 2006 November 2006 to July 2007 Report awaiting final quality assurance and sign off within the Department
Total 617,715.53
(1) Data not held centrally so could not be provided except at disproportionate cost.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.