Finance Minister Arlene Foster MLA has welcomed a 12% decrease in external consultancy costs by government departments in Northern Ireland during the 2013-14 financial year.
Today’s publication of the Department’s Annual Compliance Report on the use of External Consultants shows that expenditure covering 268 external consultancy projects by government departments, their non-departmental public bodies, and other arm’s length bodies fell to £6.70million in 2013-14. This represents an overall reduction of 80% since annual reporting was introduced in 2007-2008.
Commenting on the report the Minister said: “My department has worked extensively across government to reduce the dependency on external consulting and I am encouraged that the latest figures show a further reduction in the number of external consultancy projects and the spending on those projects. This indicates that government departments and other public bodies are properly planning, procuring, managing and reviewing all consultancy projects.”
The Minister concluded: “While there is undoubtedly value in the use of external consultants to bring specialist expertise or an independent assessment, the use of such services will continue to be deployed only where necessary and when their use represents value for money.”
Notes to editors:
- Full details of the 2013-14 Annual Compliance Report on the use of consultants.
- The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee reported on the use of consultancy in February 2008. It published a set of recommendations regarding the use of, and monitoring arrangements for, consultants. This sixth annual compliance report forms part of DFP’s ongoing response to that Report. The Committee published a follow-up report on the use of consultants in April 2012.
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