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Fingers in Pies as Ministry spends $100K a day on consultants

The Ministry of Education forked out a whopping $100,000 a day on consultants and contractors last year – eight times more since National came to office in 2008, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“The Ministry appears to be throwing money at consultants so fast it often doesn’t even bother to use government rules for tendering.

“On at least 14 occasions in the past year the Ministry awarded contracts worth over $50,000 to unnamed individuals by using exemptions to procurement rules to avoid tendering the contracts.

“Tender rules exist to ensure taxpayers get the best value for money. However, the Education Ministry seems to think these rules shouldn’t apply to them.

“Ironically one of the contracts that was tendered was awarded to a company formerly called Fingers in Pies.

“This spending – at a time when core public service numbers are capped – will be hard for the public to swallow.

“Especially coming hard on the heels of the Ministry’s lavish new $20 million offices – which include a $2.6 million staircase – while students sit in leaking and mouldy classrooms around the country,” Chris Hipkins says.