To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse was of spending on external consultants by (a) the Environment Agency, (b) Natural England and (c) the Water Services Regulation Authority in (i) 2020, (ii) 2021 and (iii) 2022; and whether any of that spending related to the preparation of funding bids to (A) her Department and (B) HM Treasury.
(b) Natural England
As per the definition of consultancy which is “The provision to management of objective advice relating to strategy, structure, management or operations of an organisation. Such advice will be provided outside the ‘business-as-usual’ environment when in-house skills are not available and will be time-limited”, Natural England incurred nil consultancy spend in 2020 and 2021.
In 2022 £18,100 consultancy spend was incurred for the provision of specialist advice for the Customer Spending Review.
Ofwat's spend on external consultants is listed in its Annual Report and Accounts: https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ARA-final.pdf (see page 84); and previous year https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Ofwat-Annual-report-and-accounts-2020-2021.pdf (see page 92).