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Govt must probe spending on consultants

Jan 28 2013 17:30 Sapa
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Of the eight audited departments, the department of defence spent the highest amount: R10.4bn in the past three years. (Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) on Monday expressed outrage over government spending on consultants.

Spokesperson Steve Faulkner said the union had worked hard to minimise the employment of consultants in municipalities and had identified shortfalls in using them.

"The problem of referring challenges to consultants is that it tends to reinforce a poor planning culture within departments, and leads to consultants being brought in to fire-fight," said Faulkner.

Deputy auditor general Kimi Makwetu announced last Thursday that eight government departments had spent a combined amount of R24.6bn in three years on consultants.

The departments were correctional services, defence, environmental affairs, health, police, rural development and land reform, transport, and water affairs.

Faulkner said the use of consultants shifted responsibility and accountability away from senior government officials.

"The blame is deflected and siphoned off on to the contract failures of consultants, who remain outside of accountable structures."

Samwu called for government heads to investigate the use of consultants and to monitor the results they achieved.

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