Scopa has raised a concern surrounding the government's reliance on consultants, says a report, after some departments spent billions on consultants.
Chairperson of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) Themba Godi is concerned that government has an overreliance on consultants that could lead to a parallel state, the City Press reported on Sunday.
"We [Scopa] actually felt ... that maybe we should call the consultants to come and account because it seems like they are the ones running the show [rather] than appointed officials," he was quoted as saying.
In the financial year 2011/12, national and provincial departments spent a combined R33.7-billion on consultants. This figure excluded municipalities' use of consultants, which is now the focus of an audit by the auditor general's office.
"It has been used to financially empower a few friends here and there and an ideology has set in that for anything and everything we must just get consultants ... instead of building capacity in the public service," Godi said.
The newspaper reported that, according to the auditor general's annual reports between 2009 and 2013, the public works department paid R14-million to a consultant to record and evaluate curtains, scatter cushions and Persian rugs in three regional offices.
Other expenditure included the labour department's compensation fund paying a consultant R68-million to do the work of a chief financial officer, who was transferred because he or she could not perform their main duties. – Sapa