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Gov't urged to redirect money spent on consultants

Published:Saturday | February 9, 2013 | 12:00 AM

MEMBERS OF a parliamentary oversight committee want the Government to halt the spending of big sums on consultants and to use the money to provide basic services for the poor and dispossessed.

Dr Horace Chang, a member of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), is contending that in some instances, three-quarters of the funding for community projects end up being paid to consultants for conducting surveys.

"They do very little work on projects and contribute very little to what happens in the community. The poor people in there need basic services to improve their capacity, not a whole heap of papers and theories. The money must be directed there," Chang said during Wednesday's sitting of the PAAC to examine the First Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure.

"The money must be spent in providing basic services and improving their education capacity, that's what they need, it doesn't need a whole heap of consultants for that," Chang stressed.

He also indicated that significant funding was being spent on consultants while it was the technocrats who were doing the job.

Chang received support from acting chairman of the committee, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, who argued that it was not rocket science to figure out the assistance that was needed for poor Jamaicans.

"I don't think we are short on reports and surveys in this country and a lot of our funds are being channelled into paying consultants to do more surveys rather than doing the work in the communities," she said.

The committee examined the first Supplementary Estimates and completed its work on the same day. A report will be submitted to the Standing Finance Committee which will meet on Tuesday to review the estimates.