Government spends £2bn on consultants

The government paid out nearly £2bn on management consultants in 2004, despite the Gershon review’s promise to reduce departmental spending, according to research by the Management Consultancies Association.

Government spending on consultants rose by 46% on 2003 levels to £1.9bn with a threefold increase in quangos to £137m, £85m spent on the NHS, while central government contributed almost £1bn to the total.

Last year’s increases come on top of a huge 111% rise in spending on consultants in 2003 to £1.28bn, however the MCA’s figure could be a severe understatement as it measures its research against its own membership that only account for 65% of the industry.

The Treasury said that government spending on consultants had ‘peaked’ and added that it only brought in consultants to provide expertise that civil servants ‘cannot give at a time when it is seeking to modernise public sector services’.

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