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Procurement

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

(1) when and where each of the contracts his Department awarded to Foresee Ltd were advertised;

(2) who (a) applied and (b) was interviewed for each of the contracts his Department awarded to Foresee Ltd;

(3) whether Miriam Maes was formally interviewed for each of the two contracts she secured with his Department;

(4) how much was claimed in expenses by Miriam Maes during her time as a consultant to his Department;

(5) pursuant to the answer of 13 September 2012, Official Report, column 316W, on procurement, which Minister in his Department signed off the contract with Foresee Ltd.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Miriam Maes was contracted by DECC for the period September 2010 to May 2011, following a competitive tender process. The competition was run by inviting four candidates considered to be energy efficiency experts to submit tenders. Miriam Maes and one other candidate were interviewed by civil servants. The names of the unsuccessful candidates are confidential. Civil servants made a recommendation to the Minister for Climate Change, Gregory Barker, that the Department appoint Miriam Maes, which the Minister agreed to. This contract was extended once on the recommendation of civil servants, with the approval of the permanent secretary. It is not normal procedure to ask Ministers to approve an extension of this size. Miriam Maes was provided with business cards. Business cards are used to help identify DECC members of staff and, where appropriate, contractors to the Department, and record contact details.

Ms Maes was subsequently contracted, following a competitively tendered process for the period July 2011 to March 2012. This competition was advertised on Contracts Finder in June 2011 at:

www.contractsfinder.co.uk

Civil servants conducted the interview process and no Minister was asked to sign off the appointment. Miriam Maes has been paid £49,000 (+VAT) and has claimed £338.40 in expenses under the above contracts. Miriam attended some meetings at DECC outside of her contracted periods.

Consultants are expected to comply with their contractual terms. A copy of Ms Maes’ contract has been placed in the Library, redacted as necessary. Ms Maes notified the Department of her clients at Foresee and it is not departmental policy to publish such declarations for reasons of confidentiality.

Miriam Maes had a departmental pass that was valid between 23 September 2010 and 31 May 2011 but was not provided with a departmental e-mail account. The Department does not hold a central record of the occasions on which Miriam Maes was contacted by e-mail. The Department did not contribute to the cost of Miriam Maes’ mobile telephone, nor her attendance at the Conservative party conference in 2010.

Ministers from time to time will meet external stakeholders for informal discussions. Officials did not attend the meeting on 15 February. Ministers’ meetings with external organisations are published on the DECC website at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/accesstoinform/registers/ministermtgs/ministermtgs.aspx

A record of all departmental spend above £500 is available on the DECC website at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/accesstoinform/expenditure/expenditure.aspx

The Department has released a number of e-mails between Miriam Maes and the Department, and these are available on the Department’s website. The Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change was informed of progress in responding to the freedom of information request and shown the material for release pre-publication. He did not make the decision in relation to this request. Some further information in this area has been requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and my Department is considering the request in accordance with the requirements of that Act. Information relating to internal discussions and advice, including that from the permanent secretary to Ministers on matters such as this, is not normally disclosed.

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