In their crusade to modernise public services, New Labour are giving vast amounts of taxpayers' money to management and IT systems consultants. They are everywhere - the Inland Revenue, MoD, Education Department, NHS and Downing Street. But are these management wizards giving us schools and hospitals that will be the envy of the world, or are they just siphoning off billions that should have been spent on the frontline services? And the biggest and most expensive consulting catastrophe of them all may still be yet to come - up to GBP 30 billion taken out of patient care to pay for the new NHS computer system. Isn't it time to ask how our money is really being spent?
David Craig has been a consultant for twenty years, working for and competing against some of the world's best and worst management consultants. His book Rip-off!: The scandalous inside story of the management consulting money machine was a business bestseller. Richard Brooks spent fifteen years as a Career Civil Servant before joining Private Eye as a journalist.