Responding to the news that Justine Greening is to probe DfID’s use of consultants, Shadow International Development Secretary Ivan Lewis stated:
“From day one in Government the Tories have instructed DfID officials to massively increase the amount of funding being spent via private companies including consultants. This has nothing to do with value for money and everything to do with ideology. Justine Greening’s crocodile tears are sheer hypocrisy.
“Private companies have an important role to play in delivering development support. However, this should be about their specialist expertise and value for money not a rigged funding system which leads to private at all costs.
“The figures published over the weekend are likely to be the tip of the iceberg in view of Minister’s insistence that the Department switch much of its spending from aid charities and their own programmes to private companies in the future. These plans were put in place at the explicit instruction of Andrew Mitchell. When Justine Greening publishes her audit findings we expect total transparency about her predecessors’ instructions and their impact on DfID spending over the past two years and in the years ahead.
“The public has a right to know what criteria have been applied to decisions about the aid money spent to hire private consultants.”