Commenting on research by Tussell on Government spend on consultants, Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) said:

“The government could not have responded to this major humanitarian crisis without calling upon extra help and expertise from the private sector. Periods of major crisis like this are exactly the right times for governments across the world to bring in extra short-term resources to assist in the response efforts. It’s unrealistic and would be very expensive to the taxpayer to expect the government to employ vast numbers of people with specialist expertise – so bringing them in for the short term on specific projects is far more cost effective.

“MCA members all commit to upholding consulting excellence principles which include high ethical standards. Firms have strict internal governance procedures to ensure that Government is receiving value for money and ensure staff working on public sector projects meet the highest standards in ethics and are held to account to ensure the public interest is being served.

“A large number of consultancy firms have been brought into support critical government projects during the pandemic which has required people with expertise in digital technology, supply chain, logistics, procurement and in delivering major government projects. The consulting sector has provided multi-disciplinary capabilities and senior experience very quickly to support Government in dealing with an unprecedented volume of workload and using external resources has enabled them to work quickly and with intensity in many areas on Brexit and during the pandemic.

“All MCA Member Firms used by government in this period have been procured through competitively tendered Crown Commercial Service frameworks which evaluate bidding firms against quality and cost criteria. As part of these contracts, consultancy firms are required to upskill civil servants and transfer knowledge to increase capability for the future.”