Excellent piece of investigative journalism by Tom Gordon in the Sunday Herald this morning. The Scottish Government are offering a staggering £250m of consultancy contracts at the same time as cutting public services and imposing a pay freeze on public service workers.
Whilst I accept the constraints imposed by the Con-Dem coalition's slash and burn approach to public services, the Scottish Government still has choices to make. One of the areas of waste UNISON has highlighted many times is spending on consultants. For example we published the result of an FoI survey of contracts awarded to KPMG. Always the first to claim they can cut costs, however, they have no compunction about accept millions of pounds of taxpayers cash.
Management consultants rarely offer anything new. They sell the latest fad and most of those are simply a reworking of old ideas. 15 years ago they told us we should decentralise support services. Now they say we should centralise. Of course they always dream up a new name - this time they call it shared services.
John Swinney's article in today's Scotland on Sunday talks about hard choices to be made. Actually John, this is the easiest decision you will have to make - scrap the consultants.