Brexit bonanza for management consultants as the government hands out contracts worth £180million to six multi-nationals despite pleas from ministers to cut reliance on outside help
- More than £88million has been spent over the past two years on Brexit contracts
- Now six £30m contracts have gone to large consultancy and accountancy firms
- McKinsey, Bain and Company, KPMG, Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC will get cash
- They will help ‘successful delivery of UK’s economic and political independence’
Ministers have dished out contracts worth £180million to management consultants for work on Brexit, it was revealed today.
The Government has spent more than £88million over the past two years but has increased its spending with little more than two months to go until the end of the transition period.
But now it has signed six £30million deals with some of the world’s largest consultancy and accountancy firms, McKinsey, Bain and Company, KPMG, Accenture, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The tender for the contracts, which started in September and run to October next year, state: ‘Over the next 12 – 24 months, Government departments anticipate a significant increase in demand for strategic programme management expertise from the consultancy market, to support the successful delivery of the UK’s economic and political independence including, future relationships with the EU and the rest of the world.’
But their discover by the Byline Times comes amid fury at the rate of spending on private consultants.
The Government has signed six £30million deals with some of the world’s largest consultancy and accountancy firms, McKinsey, Bain and Company, KPMG, Accenture, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Commons public accounts committee, told The Times today : ‘Consultancy work on very specialist technical issues can have a place but we have a tendency to pass work over to highly paid consultants as a first choice too often’
Lord Agnew, a Cabinet Office and Treasury minister, said in a leaked letter last month the amount of work being farmed out to the private sector was ‘unacceptable’ and that it ‘infantilises’ the civil service.
He said too often private consultants provided ‘poor value for money’ as he called for Government departments to keep more of their work in-house.
The shot across the bows comes after Whitehall spending on consultants has surged in the wake of the 2016 EU referendum, hitting more than £1.5billion in 2017/18.
Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Commons public accounts committee, told The Times today: ‘Consultancy work on very specialist technical issues can have a place but we have a tendency to pass work over to highly paid consultants as a first choice too often.’
There has been a massive spike in Government spending on private consultants in recent years.
New controls introduced in 2010 saw spending dramatically curtailed from £1.9bn in 2009/10 to £651m in 2010/11.
Annual expenditure then stayed between about £400m and £700m for the next six years.
But between 2015/16 and 2017/18 spending on consultants trebled in real terms, according to the National Audit Office, from £513m to more than £1.5bn.
The surge in spending came as the UK wrestled with its divorce from the European Union.
Official figures for 2018/19 and beyond are yet to be released but the advent of the coronavirus crisis is expected to have had a considerable impact on spending on consultants this year.
A Cabinet Office spokeswoman told the paper: ‘As a responsible government we have, and will continue to, draw on the expert advice of a range of specialists to prepare for the changes and opportunities that will come from the end of the transition period.’