PRIVATE consultants exploited blunders by a government agency to siphon off millions of pounds in taxpayers’ cash, the Commons public accounts committee said yesterday.
PA Consulting Services won a three-year contract in 2014 to provide expert help to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
But the contract was terminated in January 2016 as a result of a “series of failings” by both parties that left UKTI open to exploitation by the contractors, the committee said.
UKTI paid £18.8 million for the first 11 months of work by PA Consulting and was only able to recover £3m of the £5m lost.
There were concerns about the way PA Consulting priced the deal and the transparency of its communications with UKTI.
The committee said: “For its part, PA fell well short of the appropriate duty of care that we expect contractors to demonstrate when in receipt of taxpayers’ money.
“Instead of looking out for its client, PA took advantage of UKTI’s poor decision-making.”