Sources have confirmed that management consultants are being paid as much as £6,250 a day to work on the British government’s struggling coronavirus testing system.
Senior executives from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are being paid fees equivalent to £1.5 million a year to help speed up and reorganise the £12 billion network that Boris Johnson said in May would be world-beating.
The figures, first disclosed by Sky News, came amid increasing concern about the cost of the UK’s COVID 19 testing system, which has been criticised for being slow, disorganised and unable to cope with growing demand.
A source with knowledge of the contract said that BCG is one of the biggest and most prestigious consultancies in the world. Charging £10 million for 40 people to work on the virus test and trace programme, over four months.
Sources confirmed that individual consultants from the firm could make £2,400 a day with the most senior consultants earning up to £7,360. BCG then offered discounts of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent on other parts of the project.
Publicly available data collated by the Spend Network shows that BCG has been granted contracts worth at least £18.3 million for work related to the pandemic.
This included two £5 million contracts for strategic support and digital support for the test and trace programme. A £4.5 million contract with the Department for International Development for a project on accelerated COVID economic support, and £1.6 million for a COVID 19 consultancy task force from the Cabinet Office.
Other projects include work on the UK’s food security and guidance on vaccine manufacturing.
The rates far outstrip those paid to public sector workers, with just 1 per cent of civil servants being paid more than £80,000 a year.
The coronavirus test and trace system tumbled last month after schools reopened following the lockdown. Figures on 17 September revealed that almost nine in 10 of all COVID 19 tests in England were taking longer than 24 hours to yield results.
Since then, the Government has relied upon private sector involvement, while Lady Harding, the head of the programme, has faced calls for her resignation.
BCG’s forty workers are only a tiny sliver of the 1,000 consultants employed by Deloitte on the system.
It materialised last month that staff from consulting firms, including KPMG, have been put on standby to work on back-office parts of the system on a short term basis over the next six months – among the firms believed to have been contacted for help was EY.
It seems funny how some people are out there making vast sums of money, while the remainder of the people are unemployed with no prospect of a job and are being treated like Typhoid Mary and this has to be one of the most flawed presentations of corruption in a developed country that we’ve seen.
Every week there’s a news story about how our Government is paying an associate of a member of the Government to furnish a service they can only truly be outsourced to an expert because they’ve no previous experience of delivering that particular service.
Firstly, just the knowledge that the Government is handing out contracts without tender to associates, would raise eyebrows – and what’s the likelihood that they’re the best supplier for the service the Government could find?
The absence of tender is a bit of a dead giveaway that the Government isn’t looking for the best supplier, but then it’s up to you to consider the consequences, and it’s even worse than you might have feared.
Utter incompetence in the delivery of services essential to the country’s navigation through and recovery from COVID.
This is how our Government gives our money away and the disdain they have for us is astounding and yet some people would still vote for them and if they actually got the job done, then I wouldn’t bat an eyelid.