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IPS spent £38m on consultancy last year

£275m on non-capital purchases

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The Treasury's publication of its Coins database of government finance has revealed details of the Identity and Passport Service's cashflow.

The agency, which is responsible for issuing passports and identity cards – although the latter are about to be scrapped – spent £38m on consultancy and £275m on other non-capital purchases in 2009-10. It also spent £116m in wages and £122m on capital items.

Its income and outgoings are recorded by month in the Coins system. This shows that the agency spent £21.4m on consultancy in the first half of 2009-10, with its outgoings in this area falling towards the end of the financial year.

However, it recorded the majority of its capital spending, £72.6m, in the last two months of 2009-10. This may have been due to major transactions, but may also be down to the need to complete committed spending within a financial year.

The agency's income, unsurprisingly, varied with seasonal demand for travel documents. It recorded just £15.7m from 'other current taxes' in December 2009, but this had risen to £40.8m by March 2010. Altogether, the agency received £360m from this source.

IPS – which is still listed as 'UK Passport Agency' in the Coins system – appears to be unusually exposed by the data's publication on 4 June 2010, with 104 entries for 2009-10. Among other IT-focused agencies in government, the National Policing Improvement Agency's entries simply showed it receiving £490m in nine instalments, with no information on where this money was spent.

NHS Connecting for Health's spending was not immediately visible within the Department of Health Coins data. However, an analysis by The Guardian revealed that department was the biggest spender on consultancy within government, having spent £480m. The Department for International Development spent £288m and the Home Office £194m, of total central government spending of £1.8bn on consultants.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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