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Sinn Féin call on all Departments to follow its approach to use of outside Consultants

1 June, 2011

Sinn Féin’s Education Spokesperson, Daithí McKay has welcomed the fact that the Department has succeeded in its goal of achieving substantial reduction in spending on outside consultants.

Commenting following a meeting with his party colleague and new Education Minister John O’Dowd, Mr. McKay praised the efforts to reduce unnecessary spending within the department.

Daithí McKay said:

“When Sinn Féin went into government at the beginning of the last term, one of our pledges was to reverse the culture of contracting Consultancy work to outside sources and reduce the pressure on the public purse.

“One of the major difficulties that existed in the past was the unnecessary use of outside consultants by various Departments to carry out tasks which – quite frankly – were the responsibility of the Civil Service.

“We believed this was an unjustifiable waste of public funds and set about dismantling this culture within our departments. You can clearly see the effectiveness of our approach within the Education Department where there has been a massive reduction in the use of outside consultants.

“For example, in 2007, the Education Department spent over £1m on consultants. That figure was steadily reduced over the intervening period and by last year it stood at less than £63,000.

“That is the kind of leadership which Sinn Féin continues to show in government and it is even more important in the current economic climate where all Departments must ensure the very best value for money where public funds are concerned. I call on all departments to follow the Sinn Féin Ministers example and work to eliminate the use of outside consultants unless there is absolutely no alternative”

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