Information Policy and Disclosure
100 Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ
By email to
020 7147 3253
[FOI #104569 email]
020 7147 0666
2 March 2012
Dear Mr Baker
Request for Information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
I refer to your request dated 3 February 2012, for the following information:
For each of the last 3 tax years and the period from 1 April 2011 to the present time
please let me know:
a) how many different "consulting Companies" carried out work for HMRC
b) the full Companies House registered names of these "consulting companies?"
c) how much was paid to each of these "consulting companies"
HMRC engages advisory firms in a variety of roles, typically consultancy but also in other
areas. We use these firms where there is a need to buy in skills or expertise; typically this is
when we do not have the necessary skills internally or where a different external expert
opinion on complex issues is required.
Consultancy/advisory services are generally engaged to help us in one of two areas:
technology or business/management consultancy. HMRC has carried out targeted activity in
a number of key areas and fully implemented the austerity measures introduced by the
current government in May 2010.
To aid our delivery of some of the major programmes and initiatives we require technological
and external experts that we do not have ‘in-house’. Where this need is identified we
continue to actively manage the engagement and use of these advisory firms in whichever
capacity we are using them.
Information is available in large print, audio and Braille formats.
Text Relay service prefix number – 18001
FOI 1188 12 D Baker Response
I can confirm that HMRC holds information that falls within the description specified in your
request. However, we estimate that the cost of complying with your request in its entirety
would exceed the appropriate limit of £600. The appropriate limit is specified in regulations
and for central government is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person
spending 3½ working days determining if the department holds the information. This
includes locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Although the fees limit is
engaged, we are providing most of the information you have requested to be helpful.
The most resource intensive parts of your request are:
a) Providing data for the year 2010/11. During the 2010/11 period, HMRC made changes to
the categorisation of consultancy spend on our systems. As a result, we are unable to
provide the information you have requested for that period. To provide this information
would require us to cross check individual transactions to establish whether they should be
counted as inside or outside the scope of your request. This information is not being
provided to you.
c) Providing the full Companies House registered names of these consulting companies.
Companies House information is not centrally held but may be held on individual customer
records. We have, instead, provided you with the name that is held on our commercial /
A copy of the remaining information which can be disclosed for 2008/9, 2009/10 and
2011/12 is attached.
Please note the figures for the financial year 2011-12 have not been audited and
may be subject to change
Total spend on consulting companies may be different to information previously
published due to misposted items.
You have requested information about consulting companies. Where the name of a
company is the name of an individual, we have not provided that name, because to
do so would breach the data protection principles. For completeness, we have
included a summary figure for consultancy spend with individuals / companies with
names which identify individuals. These are identified by a solid black box in the
‘Vendor’ column of the attached excel workbook.
If you are not happy with this reply you may request a review by writing to HMRC FOI Team,
Room 1C/25, 100 Parliament Street London SWIA 2BQ or email
[email address]. You must request a review within 2 months of the date of this
letter. It would assist our review if you set out which aspects of the reply concern you and
why you are dissatisfied.
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you may apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner will not usually
consider a case unless you have exhausted the internal review procedure provided by
HMRC. He can be contacted at The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.