Departmental Consultants

International Development written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what procedures his Department uses when engaging external consultants.

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

Consultancy is mainly used by the Department for International Development (DFID) as a source of specialist technical advice to inform key areas of policy and processes to ensure aid funds are spent effectively. Consultancy is only used where it is deemed to be an operational necessity by DFID and strong controls have been put in place since 1 April 2010 to ensure effective management of all consultancy-related spend.

All consultancy requirements are subject to a stringent business case process. The business case must be approved at a senior level, following review by DFID human resource and procurement specialists to ensure it represents the best value sourcing option.

Following business case approval, DFID apply the EU principles of open and fair procurement. Where the value is above the EU threshold for services, competition under the EU directives is a legal requirement (unless a suitable framework arrangement is already in place). These opportunities are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and also available on the DFID portal at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Work-with-us/DFID-portal

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