Mixed views on consultant use

4 July 2007
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05 July 2007

Public sector buyers now have better knowledge about what they want from consultants, but remain poor at measuring their value, according to two reports.

A study by Methods Consulting found an increased understanding of consulting "best practice" among buyers, who now look for knowledge from consultants to provide value, rather than just processes.

Mark Thompson, director at the firm, told SM he believes this is due to the increased information on best practice available from the OGC and Cabinet Office.

But a report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), published last month, criticised government departments for lacking the ability to measure the value consultants provide.

Conservative MP Edward Leigh, PAC chairman, said: "It is impossible to believe the public are receiving anything like full value for money from this expenditure." Government spend on consultants in 2005-06 was £2.8 billion.

The PAC found up to 40 per cent of departments believed they had used consultants when they were not needed.


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