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State expected to spend more on consultants

THE Government expects to increase the amount that it spends on consultancy fees by one-third this year as a large number of departments carry out "value-for-money" reviews.

Budget estimates put the amount earmarked for consultancy fees at more than €56.2m -- almost €14m more than last year.

And 28 out of 34 government departments and state bodies have budgeted for spends on "value-for-money and policy reviews".

The estimates are contained in the last budget projections, which were published in December.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said consultancies -- where people or organisations are engaged for specific services -- were used when the skills needed were not available within the departments.

Shane Hickey

Irish Independent