Government to review guidelines on hiring consultants

 

The Government is to review guidelines on its use of outside consultants, the Taoiseach announced today.

In a statement, Mr Ahern said the Department of Finance would carry out the review and that individual departments had been instructed to certify compliance with the guidelines for major projects.

Mr Ahern also said a new system for the management and control of information and communication technology (ICT) projects would be introduced.

Today's move follows harsh criticism of the Government for the use of outside consultants. This issue was brought into focus by the recent controversy surrounding the introduction of two healthcare computer projects, which were suspended on Thursday.

The cross-agency approach, bringing the best of the public service expertise to bear in all agencies, will be supplemented where necessary by external expertise from the private sector and internationally
A Government statement on the use of uotside consultants

It emerged that consultants Deloitte received €40 million in consultancy fees for the PPARs payroll system and a separate €18.12 million for work on the FISP financial information system project.

Mr Ahern today also ordered Government ministers to review the financial provisions for consultancy as they put figures together ahead of the financial estimates for 2006.

The new guidelines for technology projects "will ensure that major ICT projects in all areas are managed to best practice standards", the Government statement claimed.

The new system will see a cross-departmental group overseeing major ICT projects.

"The cross-agency approach, bringing the best of the public service expertise to bear in all agencies, will be supplemented where necessary by external expertise from the private sector and internationally," the statement added.