19 Apr 2012

MAF spent even more on consultants than Treasury says

10:15 am on 19 April 2012

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's own figures show it has spent even more on consultants than stated by Treasury - whose data showed the spending more than tripled in a year.

Last week it was revealed the public sector's spending on consultants jumped by $189 million - or 8% - in the last financial year.

Treasury figures had MAF's spending on consultants jumping from $3 million in the financial year ending June 2010 to $12.5 million last year.

But MAF has supplied its own figures on consultants and contractors to Radio New Zealand showing it actually spent $16 million last year.

MAF says expenditure on consultants and contractors will peak in this current financial year because of costs associated with merging MAF, the Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Fisheries; so far this financial year it has spent $13.5 million.

In a statement it says the additional contracting costs involved in the merger are more than offset by savings that will be made by it.