Wednesday 22 September 2010

Quangos pay Ex Employees As Consultants Shocker...

According to The Scotsman today "A probe has been demanded into public bodies handing millions of pounds of taxpayers' cash to consultancy firms run by former employees as part of a "revolving-door culture."

Apparently, The Scottish Government and its agencies pays out £100 million a year to consultants for expert advice on areas such as IT, management and human resources and the convener of the Scottish Parliament's public audit committee Labour MSP Hugh Henry has called on Ministers and spending watchdog Audit Scotland to investigate why consultancy contracts were handed to former managers of public bodies. Mr Henry said: "It looks to me like an 'old pals act' and I want Scottish Ministers to investigate these contracts.

Surely not in Tourism I hear some gasping with astonishment.

To those of us involved in tourism in Scotland over the years, the frustration of seeing contract after contract being issued to the same faces to produce the same reports, produce the same strategies and produce the same outcomes on the ground has been to say the least highly frustrating.

There may be very good arguments why the same opinions are sought time after time. however many do fundamentally believe that the decision making process is flawed and that Scotland suffers as a direct outcome.

The convenor continued, "It is a scandal that scarce public resources are being used in this way. I will also be writing to Audit Scotland to ask them to examine whether this use of public money represents best value. It does look in some of these cases that senior executives are preparing financial opportunities before they leave these organisations and this can't be right. If the work is needed then surely these organisations should be asking their employees to complete the work before they leave."

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the Scottish Government was committed to tackling the problem, which saw former University of Aberdeen principal Sir Duncan Rice paid £2,000 a day for consultancy work at the institution after retiring.

A spokesman for Mr Swinney said: "John is absolutely committed to further tightening this up."

On a topic such as this one there must surely be some comments from those involved in the industry or all we all too tied up in the status quo to rock boats...

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