Perhaps government should hire a consulting detective?

Earlier, your humble organ suggested some possible Christmas reading for the West Annex: Rip-Off! The scandalous inside story of the management consulting money machine. But just how much money is the provincial government throwing in vain at those consultants? Well, British Columbia's auditor general actually surveyed three ministries to answer that question and concluded government was "receiving value for money from the majority (about 74%) of the management consulting contracts...In the other 26% value for money was not received. In these situations, inadequate planning, inappropriate contractor selection, poor contract management or a combination of these factors usually accounted for the results. We also concluded that in most cases the ministries lacked action plans with which to ensure that consultant recommendations are acted upon and not lost or forgotten." Not bad. But there's just one tiny problem. The audit was released back in June 2001 - just one month after the Campbell administration swept into office. And Wayne Strelioff's fourth follow-up to that report - published back in March - notes that "since our (most recent) review was limited to the policies and management practices implemented since our audit, we cannot answer the original two audit questions: 1) Is government receiving value for money from its management consulting engagements; and 2) Is it awarding these contracts in a fair and open manner?"

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