The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has raised concerns that the government’s buying framework for consultancy services is failing to harness the skills of specialist agencies.
In a report, The MCA Think Tank said demand for consultants from the public sector is rising, but few “niche, emergent and specialist consultancies” have secured work through ConsultancyONE.
The report said: “There is currently limited evidence that ConsultancyONE is being used for some of its stated purposes. For instance relatively few niche, emergent and specialist consultancies have succeeded in securing work through the framework and relatively few contracts have been let using imaginative risk and reward models.”
Alan Leaman, CEO at the MCA, said: “The MCA has contributed to the development of the ConsultancyONE buying framework. It is vital that it starts to gain momentum - both to ensure best practice, but also so government gains access to a wider range of skills and expertise from specialist consulting firms.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The ConsultancyONE framework has changed the way that government buys consultancy services, with this single framework saving money for hard-working taxpayers and offering a wider choice of suppliers with more competitive, innovative solutions than ever before.
“With small businesses now making up 44 per cent of suppliers in the framework, we’re boosting business opportunities for smaller providers where we know greater value and innovation can be found.”