The government paid out RM 7.2 billion to private consulting firms alone since the year 2009, a written answer given to PKR’s Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen in Parliament yesterday states.
This, Wong Chen (right) said at a press conference in the Parliament lobby today, amounted to RM125 million a month, or RM4 million a day.
“This reliance on private consulting firms reflects the BN leadership’s lack of faith in the civil service,” he said.
The government’s spending on these private firms, Wong Chen pointed out, has been increasing by 13.5 percent a year, which is double the amount of the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.
In the written answer given to Wong Chen, the government states that private consulting firms needed to be engaged because civil bodies still lacked the “expertise and manpower” to help the government complete its plans.
In response, Wong Chen called on all ministries to disclose the amounts they spent on consultants, failing which, he would urge his Pakatan Rakyat colleagues in Parliament to press for an answer separately from each ministry.
“This trend of consultancy spending is worrying. A pertinent concern is the fact that consultants charge non-fixed fees.
“How do we know that the government is paying appropriate fees for the services provided?” he asked.
Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung, who also attended the press conference, claimed that from his knowledge, the Prime Minister’s Department is the biggest spender when it comes to hiring consultants.
Gooi said that over the past five years, the PM’s Department spent RM212 million on foreign consultants alone.