Wednesday 26 November 2014

Lure private experts into the public service

Published 20/12/2012 | 05:00

WHEN the much-vaunted NewERA project was unveiled in September last year, the junior minister overseeing it said it was an example of the Government doing everything to create jobs.

In this case, they're doing their best to keep that promise – at least for the world of high-paid advisers.

News that the National Treasury Management Agency is to hire outside consultants to beef-up the unit established to sell state assets may be met with questions about why more taxpayers' money is being spent on such services.

If a unit within a government department is established to advise the Government on such matters, why does it then turn to the private sector to hire advice?

The Government will, quite rightly, argue that it wants to get the best corporate advice possible for such an important project.

But the Punt wonders, would it not make more sense to lure corporate experts from the private sector into the ranks of the public sector, instead of repeatedly forking out professional fees and keeping consultancy firms in lucrative contracts? Now, that would be progress.

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