Defra's £170m on management consultants

THE Liberal Democrats have told Environment Secretary David Miliband to get a grip on his department's budget today after the party published figures from a parliamentary written reply revealing Defra has spent more than £170 million on management consultants since 2002/3.

By Graham Dines

THE Liberal Democrats have told Environment Secretary David Miliband to get a grip on his department's budget today after the party published figures from a parliamentary written reply revealing Defra has spent more than £170 million on management consultants since 2002/3.

Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Chris Huhne said the figures had emerged just as Defra, responsible for rural and agriculture policies, was cutting a similar amount £200m. from its budget for this year.

Mr Huhne said it was an “astonishing amount of money to spend on management consultancy. Judging by the comprehensive management failures of the department, it is also money that has been shockingly badly spent.


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“The Government seems to be addicted to management consultants but is completely unable to secure value-for-money from them.

“This sum of money is almost as large as the cuts that Defra is currently making in key services like flood defences, waterways and veterinary inspection to prevent threats to public safety.”

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Cuts uncovered by the Liberal Democrats include £15m. from flood defences, £6m. from animal disease prevention (including bird flu), £4m. from British Waterways, and £13m. from Natural England

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