All government agencies must release contractor spending - PSA

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All government agencies should follow the lead of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and release details of their spending on contractors, the PSA says.

MBIE’s annual report shows the ministry spent $38.9 million on external contractors and consultants in the 2015/16 year.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says although that’s down from the $46 million spent in 2012/13, it’s still far too high.

"This multi-million-dollar spend is a direct result of the government’s cap on public servant numbers," Mr Barclay says.

"Since National came into power in 2008, pay and working conditions have deteriorated, so that many people with in-demand skills choose to leave permanent jobs and become contractors.

"A healthy and vibrant public service should be able to provide good jobs which are fairly rewarded, and these figures show that’s not happening."

Mr Barclay says all public sector agencies should follow MBIE’s lead, and the government needs to explain why ministries are becoming increasingly casualised.

"New Zealanders expect good public services to be delivered by dedicated employees.

"Instead, millions of dollars is going straight into the private sector’s coffers.

"I notice the new Economic Development minister Simon Bridges has issued a ‘please explain’ to MBIE.

"We would ask him to photocopy that letter and send it to all government agencies, asking them to justify their use of contractors instead of permanent, well-trained staff."