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Snippets from the DCSF spend

I'll post anything interesting I notice on the DCSF spend here. Feel free to add other things in the comments if you like.

Guardian Media Group £1.1m.

Gypsy Media Company £7,500 ("Britain's only media company run by and for Gypsies")

Total paid to firms with "Consultancy" (or similar) in their name £28m. Some of the amounts are eye-watering. Ecotec Research & Consulting are good for £1.4m. Make that £3.2m!!! They seem to have two accounts. Must have been a bloody good report they wrote.

Cap Gemini £44m

Capita £132m

£2,643 for the BBC's Mike Baker.

Children's Workforce Development Council £89m ("exists to improve the lives of ensuring that all people working with them have the best possible training and advice").

School Food Trust £10m

Association of Chief Police Officers £81k

Chetham's School of Music £5.1m. This is an independent school with 290 pupils. That's £17k per pupil.

Hotels £2.5m.

The Book Trust £13m

Common Purpose £13k (well someone was going to ask....)

Connexions £6m

National Academy for Parenting Practitioners £4.7m (works to transform the quality and size of the parenting workforce across England, so that parents can access the help they need to raise their children well).

 AEA Technology (That's the Atomic Energy Agency) £135m!!!!

Teachers' TV £8.6m

 Congress Centre - Trades Union Congress £21.8m!!! This looks like a bung, does it not? Update: It's probably the Union Learning Fund. Definitely a bung then.

Early Years Development Partnerships. There are two of these - one in Blackpool, one in Middlesborough, both getting about £8m each. Why only two?

The Sorrell Foundation. £740k. Ooh this looks like fun. SF is a charity which does design stuff. It was set up by someone called Sir John Sorrell. Their most recent accounts (for December 2007) have income of £768k, so it's more than likely that they are near-completely funded by the DCSF. So much for charitable status. There is an interesting contingent liability in the accounts: "As at the year end, The Sorrell Foundation was in discussions with HM Revenue & Customs regarding the employment status of certain individuals".

Netmums £481k. What for?

2012 Organising Committee £356k


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Reader Comments (17)

No surprise that most of the organisations represented in Badman's "expert reference group" are listed:

11 MILLION £172.50
National Children's Bureau £7.4k
Birkbeck, University of London £1.6m
Barnardos £98k, £10k, £637k, £135k, £3.3k
National Autistic Society £444k
Institute of Education £2.3m, £199k, £195k

Jul 17, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

AEA Technology (That's the Atomic Energy Agency)

No, Your Eminence, it's actually:

"a leading energy and climate change consultancy, delivering visionary, integrated environmental solutions worldwide. We assist Government with evidence based policy development and solve environmental challenges to improve organisational performance".


I'm off to have a good cry!

Jul 18, 2009 at 1:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterNickB

..and read this:

AEA Shares in Nobel Peace Prize
Four AEA experts, John Watterson, Justin Goodwin, Keith Brown and Mike Woodfield, have shared in the winning of a Nobel Peace Prize through their work with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Jul 18, 2009 at 1:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterNickB

I guess that the Guardian Media group payments is for placing adverts? Looks like they're beating Murdoch hands down in that department:


Jul 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuart

Well you can see what the money to Mike Baker was buying. here he is defending the Charity Commission going after independent schools.

Jul 18, 2009 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterFirebird

Did you get my e-mails? I did a lot of work on this with Excel2007, and turned up quite a bit: I can send you the spreadsheet as it now stands if you like.

Jul 18, 2009 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K


I've emailed you.

Jul 18, 2009 at 9:14 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

An update on AEA Technology, which is fully privatised offshoot of the Atomic Energy Authority. It would seem that, apart from environmental consultancy, the AEA Group also has large interests in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) (a part government-funded programme to encourage collaboration between businesses and universities in the United Kingdom.) and, through its subsidiary "Momenta" Education it runs programmes aimed at "Improving the effectiveness of the delivery of educational experiences from pre-school to life-long learning."

Whilst I initially could not establish a reason for the DCSF to pay AEA's such a large sum of money, I have now found an eminently reasonable connection through its KTP and Momenta arms.

Nothing untoward, I'm now pleased report.

Jul 18, 2009 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterNickB


It's still a lot of money!

Jul 19, 2009 at 7:39 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I like the Stalinesque "Central Office of Information*do not use*use 10009" @ £2.3m. Is this for advertising itself to us ?

Also £531.5m to Leeds City Council - For what ?

Jul 20, 2009 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavemcwish


There is another CIO entry somewhere in there with a spend of £44m. I think this is just what it sounds like.

£535m to Leeds City COuncil is presumably for council-run schools. There are lots of large payments to councils, which I am interpreting as payments to LEAs.

Jul 20, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I guess my point was the amount of spend *seems* very high given it's population size compared with Manchester (£420m), Liverpool (£21m) etc. Having said that I missed the point about LEAs (there's isn't a West Riding council listed) so their funding probably comes under the City listing.

The extra £44m advertising just makes it worse .....

Jul 20, 2009 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavemcwish

Shall I get something set up then? I could do it tonight...

Just drop me a line...


Jul 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDevil's Kitchen


Not sure yet. I need to think about whether I have the time to do this properly. If I have, there's then the question of how it should be structured.

Wait for the moment.

Jul 20, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I used to do work for one of the organisations you mention, doing market research billed in thousands or tens of thousands of £s. When I saw figures many magnitudes higher, I went on to the website of one of the organisations you mention, and started poking around. My conclusion: it is impossible to begin to describe how Britain is being run, without running foul of the libel laws. In the old days, when a Ministry produced a report which was a load of old cobblers, it was our democratic right to say that the Minister was an idiot. Now that policy is enshrined in reports written by private companies quoted on the stock exchange, the same criticism could land you in big trouble.
In Italy, when the Mafia finances the construction of a bridge using crappy concrete, people die, and sometimes an examining magistrate manages to bring those responsible to justice. In Britain, if policy in matters of health or defence is based on crappy advice, produced at an exorbitant price by friends of friends who are incapable of stringing two intelligent sentences together, but experts in producing glossy policy documents, well, people die as well. And there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.

Jul 22, 2009 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

If a director of one of the companies is a friend of the minister, it's not libellous to say so - only to say that the contract is fraudulent.

Tell us!

Jul 23, 2009 at 8:10 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

When i worked for Cap Gemini years ago it was as a programmer so i would think that they were doing similar work

Jul 24, 2009 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterLarryT

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