Following the Public Accounts Committee on NHS Test and Trace and employment of consultants, Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) said:   

A large number of consultancy firms have been brought into support critical government projects during the pandemic including on Test and Trace 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 and has helped deal with complex negotiations around data, infrastructure and procurement at pace. 

“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.   

“The cost charged by consulting firms working on Test and Trace will include security system and technical requirements, product development costs, solution developments, legal costs, overheads, training and recruitment costs. The charge from consulting firms includes various operating costs that goes well beyond consultant salaries which are well within the market norms in the services sector.  

“We should remember that Government is dealing with an unprecedented volume of workload and major upheaval due to COVID-19 and using external resources has enabled them to work quickly and with intensity in many areas.”