Ó Domhnaill demands explanation for Labour’s excessive spending on consultants

Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill is calling on the Government to explain its excessive spending on external consultants.

Figures released show that the government has spent €160 million on consultants to date. The Fianna Fáil Senator has raised particular concerns about the excessive spending by Labour Ministers on PR Campaigns, Photography, Web design, IT, Cleaning and other external consultants.
Senator Ó Domhnaill explained, “It is clear from these figures that the Labour Party in particular has questions to answer about their use of taxpayer’s money. The three most senior Labour Ministers are presiding over exorbitant spending on external consultants at their Departments, at a time when they are cutting key services for people who need support.

“The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has the highest spend on consultants at over €50.7 million. Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, overseen by Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte, has spent over €27.3 million on consultants while the Minister for Social protection Joan Burton has spent an alarming €20.6 million.

“According to these figures, Minister Joan Burton has spent €19.3 million on IT contracts. People with disabilities, carers and older people who have seen their supports slashed by Minister Burton over the past three years will wonder how she can justify this use of taxpayers’ money. Meanwhile, Minister Rabbitte sanctioned a €400,000 spend on PR at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. In a single year it seems that €537,447 was needed by Minister Gilmore’s Department for cleaning services from a company while €172,619 was spent on website development.

“Does the State no longer have any expertise of its own? Why are Ministers not satisfied to use the civil servants that are employed by the Government Departments in IT, PR and cleaning rather than spending tens of millions on external consultants? Does the former trade union official Minister Gilmore not want cleaners to be directly employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs? Is there no civil servant with web design experience? Are there no press officers in SEAI? €20m on IT contracts in a Department that has pioneered IT for decades? Surely with the extensive human resources at the State’s disposal there are sufficient ICT capabilities within the public service?

“A full and detailed explanation is required of each Minister on this spending. Outsourcing is important to support the real economy. But at a time when medical cards are being withdrawn from sick people and essential social supports are being cut to women, children, older people and people with disabilities, Ministers must answer for excessive spending.” Concluded Ó Domhnaill

Posted: Mar 13, 2014     |     Categories: Uncategorized