Government departments award £94m in Brexit consultancy contracts

Written by Beckie Smith on 31 January 2019 in News
News

The Cabinet Office alone awarded contracts worth a total of £56m, the figures show

Government departments have awarded contracts worth up to £94m for Brexit-related consultancy work since the June 2016 referendum, an analysis of procurement data has shown.

The figures, compiled by public contracts database Tussell and seen by CSW, give a glimpse at the scale of government spending with consultancy firms since the UK voted to leave the EU.

The total value is likely to be considerably higher, as the data only includes contracts explicitly labelled as EU exit work. CSW has already reported on millions of pounds of departmental spending on Brexit-related consultancy fees, not all of which is accounted for in the contract figures.


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The Cabinet Office accounted for over half of the total value in the Tussell figures, having awarded contracts worth a total of £56m. It has signed eight contracts, including four worth up to £10m each with Bain & Company Inc., Deloitte, PA Consulting Services and Pricewaterhousecoopers.

The Crown Commercial Service had four contracts worth a total of £11,579,254, with the lion’s share  £10m going to the Boston Consulting Group for “strategic programme management” related to EU exit.

The economic development agency Invest Northern Ireland signed nine contracts, each worth £3m, bringing its total to £27m. The contracts were for research and analysis to determine how best to approach the challenges presented by Brexit.

The Department for International Trade had four contracts totalling £6.7m, although some of that spending was on behalf of the Department for Exiting the European Union. Consultancy services it commissioned included support for coordinating cross-government Brexit work and the provision of electronic project management software.

DIT’s total also included a £2.6m contract with Deloitte for “trade remedies investigations technical training”. The department is in the process of setting up a post-Brexit watchdog called the UK Trade Remedies Authority.

The Home Office reported two contracts totalling £4m for IT and other services to support the EU nationals settlement scheme, while the Department for Transport reported one contract worth up to £500,000 for, among other things, “ad hoc advice” on financial matters and commercial advice.

The Department for Enviornment, Food and Rural Affairs reported contracts worth a total of £3.2m for work related to its Brexit workstreams, which include future farming and fisheries policies, chemicals regulation and trade in food.

UK Shared Business Services Limited, which is owned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, had two contracts worth £1.5m for support establishing processes and tools to deliver BEIS’s Brexit work and to stress-test policy options.

Figures published by Tussell earlier this month showed public sector bodies awarded contracts worth a total of £554m to private consultancies in 2018 up slightly from £546m in 2017. Three central government departments the Cabinet Office, the Home Office and the Department for International Development accounted for nearly half of that spending between them.

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Beckie Smith
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Beckie Smith is a reporter for CSW who tweets Beckie__Smith.

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