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Is public sector consulting doomed?

 
#1 Is public sector consulting doomed?
10/01/2010 13:00

Toga wearer

I just came across this article on the Times website:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6958185.ece

Coming up to, and after, the election are we likely to see more cutbacks in public sector consulting? How will companies, like those named in the article, handle the inevitable downturn in revenues?

As a taxpayer, do you think that government gets good value from consulting spend?

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#2 RE: Is public sector consulting doomed?
11/01/2010 11:23

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to Toga wearer (#1)

I think without question public sector practices will be the new drag on consulting firms' growth, although radical public sector change is unlikely to be achieved without the use of external consultants so the scale of cutbacks is likely to be being overplayed.

Nonetheless, political pressure in the UK very clearly points to the culling of some high profile public sector consulting contracts this year – and an ongoing drive for greater frugality in the use of consultants. The looming general election makes consulting cutbacks an open goal and consultants akin to turkeys in the run-up to Christmas. Whilst Brown’s stated ambitions of halving consulting spend sound both far-fetched and self-defeating, 2010 will nonetheless undoubtedly see the climate for winning public sector work darken.

This isn't just an issue of the size of impending cuts though. What we’re definitely hearing is that new projects are increasingly being put out to tender with smaller niche consulting practices, so these political clouds could also play into the hands of smaller firms and potentially have the greatest negative impact on the major brands.

Would be interested to hear the thoughts of those on the front lines with public sector practices...

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#3 RE: Is public sector consulting doomed?
11/01/2010 12:31

Matthew Barnaby to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#2)

I currently work in the public sector and am considering branching out in to consultation.

I have seen people leaving the public sector in droves to do contract, freelance consultancy work.

As basic a formula as this may be, here's what seems to be the idea.

1. In 2010 Public Sector cuts will affect delivery

2. This will need guidance = consultants

3. Public will expect services to be unaffected regardless of cuts so with a reduction in staff in some frontline provision freelance workers could be brought in to do pieces of work.

4. A single employed staff member come with 'oncosts' and could stay 10 years - a consultant could be paid more than the employee for a set amount of time to do a set piece of work then move on meaning services remain and no extra expenditure for 'oncost'

Does this make sense? So in overall a consultant could result in cost saving for local authorities.

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