The Norwegian Department of Renewal, Administration and Church (probably the weirdest combination for a department - hereafter know as "DRAC") has an article addressing the effective use of consultants in the publics sector - or rather, lack of efficient use. Consultants are used all over the place. Particularly, one is concerned with the use of IT consultants.
The typical excuses to use consultants are:
- Access to increased capacity in periods when capacity is exceeded
- Access to skills and knowledge that the organization doesn't have
- Obtain legitimacy through external experts before decisions are made
- It is more economical to buy services from consultants than using your own employees
- Buying consulting services is seen as a requirement to follow national guidelines
- Is there a potential for more efficient use of consultants and/or reduce expenses on consultants, and how much is possible?
- What measurements can be done to secure better use of consultants?
- What measurements can be done to reduce the use of consultants in the state, and what are the consequences of such measurements?
And their first request is: "What is a good way to perform such a study?"
In the next few articles, I intend to go into the depths of the request as well as address the use of consultants in public administration, answer all three questions and recommend the remedy as proven by the Swedish police force.