Sadly the consultancy industry has been knocked in the media once again. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that the Ministry of Defence's spent £290m on external consultants when a major redundancy programme involving 60,000 troops and civilians was being undertaken.
According to the Unions, the MoD cut jobs too quickly and failed to check internally for technical expertise before hiring consultants to take on the work of employees leaving the department. And, in spite of promises to stamp out bad procurement practice, the system for hiring consultants and awarding contracts was being routinely abused.
This woeful lack of recruitment planning, budgeting, joined up thinking and careless procurement is unacceptable and it gives the industry a bad name.
Consultants should be hired for specific projects and because they bring in specialist skills that do not exist within an organisation. Procurement briefs for consultants should be watertight with targets, budgets and objectives clear. There is no excuse for anything less. We've created a Best Practice buying guide for buyers of consultancy, no matter how big or small, that outlines some of the fundamentals our own government are neglecting to adhere to.