Letwin vows to give sector a pivotal role

Speaking to Management Consultancy, Letwin laid down the election gauntlet saying he has set out a ‘clear systematic approach’ for six years of public spending and that consultants would play an important role.

‘In public services Gordon Brown has followed a path which has allowed him to spend more through elections, raise taxes after elections and moderate spending just after elections,’ said Letwin.

He said his party would employ independent consultants to investigate public spending projects and a different set of consultants to look into the success of the project on completion.

The plans are part of Letwin’s vision of transparent government. ‘We will take the trouble to lay that out so that people can see it and we will be embarrassed if we were not to follow it,’ he said.

But Letwin also fired a warning shot with his determination to crack down on waste and overspend in Whitehall. Part of his plans include a reduction in the number of civil servants from 500,000 to 400,000 and external consultants would not necessarily escape the cull.

‘Is there scope for the government to not do some of the things that it currently does? And if some of those things involve consultants then undoubtedly there would be a reduction in the amount of consultancy going on,’ he said.

Letwin is committed to tackling what he sees as huge wastage and over-resourcing in government and the civil service.

‘The reason for that is partly to save money, but actually to change the culture of Whitehall. How can we do less, regulate less, interfere less?’ he said.

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