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Government under fire over consultants

Hon John Luxton

National Economic & Regional Development Spokesperson

23 July 2001

Government under fire over consultants

The Government's excessive use of consultants is proving, once again, that it says one thing yet does exactly the opposite, National's Economic and Regional Development spokesperson, John Luxton said today.

"The Commerce Select Committee's report on the activities of the Ministry of Economic Development and Industry, released today, criticises the Deputy Prime Minister for the excessive use of consultants by his Ministry and its agencies.

"This is despite Jim Anderton's instruction last year to all government departments to cut back, and ultimately eliminate, the use of consultants.

"In the last year, the Economic Development Ministry and its agencies have employed over 310 consultants on contracts of more than $5000 each.

"The majority of Industry New Zealand regional development funding has, this year, been spent on Wellington-based consultants, and Jim Anderton has himself admitted to the Select Committee that more than half of Industry New Zealand's staff came from outside consultancies.

"But the Deputy Prime Minister continues to dodge the issue.

"Despite repeated requests for a copy of the plan to eliminate the use of consultants in his own Ministry, Mr Anderton has failed to deliver - even though at the beginning of last year, he instructed all government departments to prepare such a plan," Mr Luxton said.

Ends

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