Taoiseach outlines spending of £1m on consultants in 1999


The Department of the Taoiseach spent more than £1 million on outside consultancy services last year.

Mr Ahern told the Dail yesterday that during 1999, his Department spent £1,036,711 on 31 projects. Some 10 projects, costing £502,249, were undertaken directly on behalf of his Department.

An additional 21 consultancies costing £534,462 and paid for out of the Department's budget, were commissioned by the Information Society Commission, the Moriarty tribunal, the National Millennium Committee, the National Economic and Social Council, the National Economic and Social Forum and the All-Party Committee on the Constitution. Mr Ahern told the Fine Gael leader, Mr Bruton, that consultancies were only engaged if there was clear justification and in cases where a specialist expertise was required.

"Most of the bodies I mentioned engaged consultancies because they did not have the required expertise. Competitive tendering ensures that consultancy costs are minimised. My Department monitors the outcome of all projects to ensure that they are satisfactorily carried out in accordance with the terms of reference outlined," he said.

Mr Ahern said his Department complies with EU regulations on contracts and also follows Department of Finance guidelines on public contracts.