Government consultants earn £317 million in 2013

Published:

The Government paid external consultants £317 million in 2013, with more than 30 earning upwards of £1,000 per day, according to figures revealed by BBC's Newsnight.

The Department for Transport used 10 consultants – the highest of any department. This was followed by the Ministry of Justice (8) and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (5).

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) only officially used one consultant – although that individual was the highest paid at £3,000 per day. The MoD also spent a further £137 million on technical consultants in 2013, which was counted as separate to the overall Government spend.

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby raised concerns that reduction in the headcount of civil servants is being countered by spending a "huge amount" on consultants.

"I think there are big questions about whether we are getting value for money, not least because there is a severe lack of transparency about what they are actually doing," he said.

A spokesperson for the Government claimed the overall figure spent on consultants has decreased by 75% since 2009 and that the situation is "being brought under control".

"Already it has put an end to excessive spending on consultants and interim staff by establishing stringent controls," the spokesperson said. "Certain departments do, however, have a requirement for specialist roles, especially where they are undertaking complex transformative projects. Such roles are only authorised where the skills are not readily available within the civil service."