22 August 2002
Railtrack has hit back at critics who claim it spends too much money on consultants.
A Railtrack spokesman said: "We only hire consultants when they add value and experience that we don't have in-house."
He said money spent on consultants was good value and less than the reported 10 per cent that angered government ministers, who called for a clampdown when Network Rail takes over Railtrack in the autumn.
"Our spend is around £225 million, 7.5 per cent of last year's budget for track maintenance and renewal," he said. "The figure also includes payment for the services of people and companies not normally covered by the term 'consultants'.
"These include audit and legal fees, and the work carried out by major contractors such as WS Atkins on our west coast line upgrade. These are not consultancies in the traditional sense."
Sarah Taylor, deputy chief executive of the Management Consultancies Association, an umbrella body for 40 major consultancies, said many factors would determine whether a company spends more or less on consultancies.
"It depends what the organisation wants to achieve, and it could be more than usually spent if the company is changing management structure or has a merger and acquisition."