DWP Spends £4.8m on Outside Consultants as Bill Quadruples

Reposted from International Business Times

Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Iain Duncan Smith is in charge of the Department for Work and Pensions(Reuters)

The Department for Work and Pensions almost quadrupled the amount it spent on consultants between 2014 and 2013, according to an analysis of official figures by IBTimes UK.

The ministry’s records revealed that the total cost of non-payroll consultants/consultancy hit £4.8m ($8.2m, €6m) in May 2014, up from £1.29m a year before.

The increase represents a 273% hike in the amount spent on outsider advice for the DWP, which is the largest government department in the UK with a 96,008 strong workforce.

However, the official figures failed to disclose how many non-payroll consultants/consultancies worked for the ministry.

Meawhile, the data also revealed that the grand total cost for non-payroll and payroll workers for Iain Duncan Smith’s department dropped by more than £15.2m over the same period.

The records showed that the DWP’s total payout was more than £212m in May 2014, down from £227m in May 2013.

“It’s good to see that the total staff bill is being trimmed, as savings desperately need to be made,” Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told IBTimes UK.

“However, the increase in the bill for consultants is a cause for concern for taxpayers.

“Consultants are sometimes necessary, but it’s crucial that the department retains staff with the necessary expertise to cut out a lot of the big fees.”

The Department for Work and Pensions had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

The figures follow a warning from the National Audit Office that the DWP could overpay contractors of one of its flagship welfare reforms by £25m in bonuses due to contract “flaws”.

The independent parliamentary body said that The Work Programme, which provides support, work experience and training for up to two years to help benefit claimants find and stay in work, is not working as the Department for Work and Pensions intended it to, with regard to incentive payments.

“Flaws in contracts and performance measures have led to unnecessary and avoidable costs,” a report from the NAO said.

“The DWP may have paid contractors £11m in the period to March 2014 for performance they may not have actually achieved and could overpay contractors £25m over the remainder of the programme unless it changes its approach.”

But the NAO said that the ministry has recognised where it has needed to make changes to contracts.

A DWP spokesperson said: “The Work Programme is helping more people than any previous employment programme and has already helped half a million people start a job and 300,000 into lasting work.

“The NAO says that we’ve already saved more than £40m over and above any previous employment programme, and that we’ll save £450m on benefits compared with any scheme that has gone before.”

 

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5 Responses to DWP Spends £4.8m on Outside Consultants as Bill Quadruples

  1. Pingback: DWP Spends £4.8m on Outside Consultants a...

  2. beastrabban says:

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Quentin Letts in his Fifty People Who Buggered Up Britain laments the rise of the SPADs, the various private consultants and advisors that are called in from outside the Civil Service by government ministers. His target was their massive use by Blair’s government. Will the Mail similarly attack IDS’ DWP for also wasting so much money on them? Don’t bet on it!

    Like

  3. Jay says:

    Is there no budget for this project or, as it’s taxpayers money being squandered, is it a case of waste as much as you like?? Would probably be a different story if the DWP spend was included in the GDP calculation!

    Like

  4. Johnnicholls says:

    Hear no evil see no evil speak no evil
    Take out the no

    Like

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