Consultants and contractors can provide expert advice, knowledge, and ideas about government policy and specific challenges. They can also help deliver key programs that government could otherwise not deliver. However, an overreliance on contractors can be costly and may have detrimental impacts, such as a loss of capacity and capability across the public sector.

In his report Let the sunshine in, Professor Coaldrake recommended that departments should more robustly account for the benefits derived from engaging consultants and contractors, with regular monitoring by the Auditor-General.

Audit Objective

This audit will examine how effectively public entities are using consultants and contractors. It will assess how much the government is spending on them, the benefits and value it gets from them, and how effectively it manages them. We will also look at how entities use the expertise and knowledge of contractors and consultants to build their own capability.

Who we might audit
  • Department of Energy and Public Works
  • selected public sector entities.
Area of focus
Governance of government
Parliamentary Committee
Cost of Living and Economics Committee
Anticipated tabling: to be advised