Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Uncovered: Another £5k of Taypayers' Money to the Sith

There was an interesting parliamentary answer in yesterday's Hansard regarding the Smith Institute.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money from the public purse (a) his Department and (b) its agencies gave to (i) the Smith Institute and (ii) its subsidiary SI Events Limited in each year since 1997; and for what purpose each payment was made. [123088]
Alan Johnson: The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has made the following payments to the Smith Institute:

1999-2000 £29.95
2000-01 £5,000
2001-02 £39.95
2002-03 £39.95
2003-04 £29.95
19 Mar 2007 : Column 702W
We have no record of any payments made to its subsidiary SI Events Ltd. Unfortunately, we cannot supply further information on the nature of these payments as the Department does not have immediate access to the original invoices on which the payments were based.

So can anyone shed any light on why the DfEE would pay the Smith Institute £5,000 in 2000/2001?

16 comments:

Gracchi said...

I'm not saying it is but isn't there plenty of evidence that Departments often pay thinktanks to do work for them- studies, surveys that kind of thing. Consultancy is one of the ways that thinktanks can earn money- without further evidence can we be sure that this is neccessarily evidence of something wrong going on.

Anonymous said...

Err... Iain,

Don't you mean pay £5000 in 2000-01?

amillionpieces said...

How interesting, so how did the Sith help the election campaign? The sleaze goes back further than I thought!

Anonymous said...

Iain, £5 is the typical cost of sponsoring a fringe event at conference or similar think tank lunch.

Dale Link Free Day said...

Er, who cares? To run a conference or produce a book? Anyway. See name and link. So far so good.

Anonymous said...

This really is scraping the barrel a bit, Iain. Six years ago a govt department paid a sympathetic think tank for something, probably related to, er, the sort of work they both do?

prescottspile said...

Its not the amount but the fact its taken a written question to extract this info in teh first place. If they have records of small amounts how come their is nothing else.
This is the sec of state for edu not treasury.....


it takes 6 weeks to get incomplete info, still its better than no answer which you get from oral questions.

Prescott stumbling through slave trade debate. he cant even pronounce the names of those involved.

beria's basement said...

Probably protection money.

darkness visible said...

Do the DFEE have anything to do with cosmetic dentistry?

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

My guess is that this would have been some form of "training grant" or IT grant, of the sort that Brown is so convinced that industry loves to help fight off the Chinese.

Such schemes are normally ended after 18 months when its discovered that the only people applying for such training are fraudsters who by definition are the only people who can be arsed to find out how to qualify.

Anonymous said...

How much have DFID paid Adam Smith?

read about it here said...

Have you seen today's jaw-dropping admission from former BofE guv Eddie George yet Iain.

Has Brown had a hand in getting him to admit this?

http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30400-1256664,00.html

Anonymous said...

"So can anyone shed any light on why the DfEE would pay the Smith Institute £5,000 in 2000/2001?"

Not as such, but the figures themselves are interesting.

The small sums ending :95p in the other four years have the flavour of journal subscriptions or similar. In other words the result of an invoice. The five thou, nice round number, seems much more an agreed amount but raises a question. Why not £5029:95? What was the DfES paying for in the other four years that it didn't in 00/01 and why not?

Arthurian Legend said...

2001 General Election expenses for channelling back to the Labour party?

house price crash said...

Thats a scandalous admission from Fast Eddie. Is he trying to take the heat off Brown or to stuff him?

ghost of john trenchard said...

5 grand?

maybe they needed a shipment of light sabres?