Contracts worth £288m given to KPMG and EY to train new civil servants
UK ministers have distributed contracts of up to £288 million to consultants at Big Four accountancy firms KPMG and EY to train thousands of civil servants over the next four years.
Both firms will design and deliver courses in everything from project management and leadership to training on Microsoft IT systems such as Excel and Word.
The contracts will cost UK taxpayers up to £158m in the case of KPMG and £130m for EY.
The enlistment of the two firms arrives as the UK Government plans to create an internal consulting unit to reduce spending on expensive external advisers.
A project strongly backed by former Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings, the so-called Crown Consulting unit is expected to focus on training up civil servants to carry out some routine work currently outsourced to advisers. It will also decide when external help is really needed.
The training will include core modules for the entire Civil Service and specific courses required by certain parts of Whitehall. KPMG and EY consultants will teach topics such as leadership, management, policy development and financial awareness.
The training will also include professional accreditations such as the Prince2 qualification for project managers, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The EY contract outlines projected spending of £15m in the first year of the contract but the corresponding number has been redacted in a version of the KPMG document published by the Government online.
A spokesman from the Cabinet Office said that EY and KPMG have vowed to spend at least half the money received under the deals on sub-contracting small and medium sized businesses to run courses.
KPMG and EY declined to comment.