Taxpayers have been left to foot a consultant bill worth more than $66 million after the Baird Government blew its budget for external consultancies by almost 50 per cent.
The Budgeted Forward Estimates Detailed Report for 2015/16 has shown that the Government spent $203,922,000 on external consultants despite setting aside $137,664,000 across all departments for outside advice.
The Government’s overspend has caused a blowout of $66,258,000 – or 48 per cent – with some of the most crisis plagued departments the cause of the gratuitous spending.
The Department of Education blew its budget by $1.2 million despite more than a third of schools being overcapacity and a $732 million school maintenance backlog yet to be addressed.
While the crisis of prison overcrowding and exhausted resources continues to choke up the NSW justice system the Department of Justice wasted $4.1 million in taxpayer dollars on outside advisors.
The Crown Finance Entity – the department tasked with overseeing Government transactions - was the worst offender after it blew its budget by more than $57 million.
According to the Budgeted Forward Estimates Detailed Report for 2015/16 the Department of Justice spent $57,466,000 on consultants despite having a budget of $367,000.
A table of the highest spending departments is below.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park
“This is an appalling mismanagement of the budget and a gross waste of taxpayer money that could be better spent fixing our schools and hospitals.
“Schools are full to the brim, hospital waiting times are increasing and TAFE is becoming unaffordable but the Government thinks this is the perfect time to blow the budget on frivolous costs.
“Premier Mike Baird should be focused on fixing the ongoing issues in these departments. Instead, they’ve been flicked over to the private sector at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
“After so many bad decisions and shonky policy announcements it’s obvious the Government isn’t getting value for money.
“Taxpayers expect the Government to be making the decisions that run the state; not an army of private sector consultants.”