Cayman’s government has improved in the way it procures consultants and temporary workers but still has a long way to go to ensure it’s not wasting money on these hires.
That’s the view of Sue Winspear and her team at the Auditor General’s Office, which Tuesday (12 March) released a report on government’s use of consultants and temporary staff.
Among the reports findings:
- Government spent $38.5 million on consultants and temporary staff between July 2012 and July 2017.
- A vast majority of that went to consultants, where five services accounted for 80 percent of consultants hires (legal services, IT consulting and implementation, advertising and promotion, major capital projects and public relations).
- The Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport has spent the most amount of money on consultants over that period. A majority of that money was spent on advertising and promotion.
Among the concerns raised in the report:
- Government does not generally plan or project its needs for consultants, except on major capital projects.
- Business cases were not prepared for most consultant engagements. Those that were prepared did not include all the information they should, like why the hire was justified.
- Government routinely does not monitor how much it is spending on consultants or temporary staff.
- Government does not consistently consider value for money when engaging consultants nor does it formally manage and evaluate the performance of consultants once they are appointed.
“The Government uses consultants and temporary staff to support the delivery of its objectives and priorities but does not monitor how much it is spending on them,” Ms. Winspear is quoted as saying in the report.
“Improvements in the procurement processes are making a positive impact, but the Government needs to ensure that it is following these and some Government entities need to update their guidance to ensure that they are best practice.”