The Campbell administration's fetish for hiring management consultants, be they former bureaucrats or creatures from the private sector, is (at least anecdotally) the source of much consternation among the more fiscally-responsible members of civil service. A small example: last year, The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer reported on a lucrative government deal awarded to Bill Gipps. According to the columnist, his one-man firm Gr8 IDEAS was "being paid $1,200 a day. For 18 months work. Maximum payout under the term of the contract: $550,000. And the government directly awarded the contract, bypassing the 'fair and open tendering' promised by the B.C. Liberals in their election platform." So, it is with some amusement, we noticed the legislative library has placed Rip-Off! The scandalous inside story of the management consulting money machine in its popular readings section.
The book, written by former industry insider David Craig, has made quite a splash in the United Kingdom - where the Blair administration has come to rely on such consultants to sort out its most vexing public policy questions. Sadly, though, a legislative librarian clarified the popular readings section isn't for books that have been checked out repeatedly by MLAs. Instead, it's for books that are popular among the public-at-large. And, based on inspection of the book's binding, very few (if any) of our elected representatives at the Rockpile has yet to crack open the legislature's copy of Rip-Off!