Off To A Flying Start

This reminds me of the time I pulled the screens out of my windows and left the doors wide open to keep thieves out of my house. Ottawa paid nearly $670,000 for KPMG’s advice on cutting consultant costs

Apologies to any thieves reading this for the comparison.

The federal government hired KPMG consultants at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars for advice on how to save money on consultants, documents show.

New spending details tabled in Parliament show the department of Natural Resources, led by minister Jonathan Wilkinson, approved $669,650 for KPMG, a global professional services company, to provide managing consulting advice.

The department said this work involved developing “recommendations that could be considered as options to ensure that Canadians’ tax dollars are being used efficiently and being invested in the priorities that matter most to them.”

Treasury Board President Anita Anand is currently leading a federal effort to save about $15-billion over five years from existing spending plans. She has promised to release the first wave of details this month. The Natural Resources contract work was part of that department’s contribution to the spending reduction effort.

It may not surprise you (especially if you voted based on the promise of election reform back in 2015) to hear that since the Liberals pledged in that same year to cut back on things like consultants and outsourcing, that the amount spent on those things has gone up, like, a lot.

Recently tabled figures for the 2022-23 fiscal year show federal spending on outsourcing has continued its upward trend. Ottawa spent $15.7-billion on professional and special services that year, a broad category that includes outsourcing spending in areas such as IT services and management consultants.

That is a nearly 88-per-cent increase over outsourcing levels in 2015-16, when Ottawa spent $8.35-billion. The Liberal Party promised in the 2015 federal election campaign to cut back on the use of external consultants.

To add insult to insult, part of the reason we’re getting this information is that the government operations committee is holding hearings into why the ArriveCan app cost so damn much. How much? How about more than $54 million? If you’ve seen that thing in action, it’s hard to believe that they spent $54 on it, let alone that and a pile of zeros.

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