Labor’s Katy Gallagher has been left red faced after it was revealed today that the inspiration for her ‘in-house’ public service consulting hub model in the United Kingdom has been wound up.
Labor is now banking $3.6 billion of savings on a program that has shown no viability, and on cost reductions that do not exist.
Minister Gallagher stated in a speech last year that “To deliver on the Government’s commitment to reduce reliance on consultants, the Government is working to develop an in-house consulting model for the [Australian Public Service] to strengthen core capabilities and functions that have been contracted out.”
At Senate Estimates in October 2022 she confirmed that the new in-house public servant consulting model was part of the strategy to realise the budget savings on consultants and other expenses. “Part of the readjustment is looking at what new ways we can develop in house to provide some of the support that people are using externally,” she said.
This setback comes shortly after an analysis of contract reporting data relieved that the Labor Government had spent over $644 million on consultants this financial year since coming to office already exceeding the savings across consultants, travel, legal costs and advertising it had promised in the 2022-23 October Budget.
Shadow Minister for the Public Service, Senator Jane Hume said this is another example of the Government failing to deliver on its promises.
“First, we see from the Government’s own contract data that they continue to spend on consultants despite saying they will make savings of $642.5 million this year. Now, the very unit that they sought to replicate in order to reduce spending on consultants has failed,” Senator Hume said.
“Labor should come clean that the budget bottom line is $3.6 billion worse off over the next four years because this Albanese Labor Government can’t deliver the savings it promised.
“At a time when we are seeing record levels of inflation, fiscal responsibility should be the Government's number one priority. Without an economic plan from Labor, all Australians can plan for is for the cost of living crisis to get worse.”