back to article Even £9.8m on consultants can't get network push underway

The government's push to increase boraband speeds across the UK has so far signed off a massive £9.8m bill for 70 consultants over the past two years and four months, it has been revealed. Broadband minister Ed Vaizey, responding to a Parliamentary question from shadow Culture Secretary Helen Goodman late last week, told MPs …


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  1. mark 63 Silver badge

    "each consultant received on average £140,000."

    so thats *minimum* 70k over two years. Nice work if you can get it.

    they must be really clever consultants.

    I know a the difference between kilobits and kilobytes - should i have applied?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      9,8000,000/70 consultants/28 months = 5k per month or 60k p.a. Quite a different story to the headline grabbing 140k figure.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      "I know a the difference between kilobits and kilobytes.."

      You're overqualified.

      Now, if you'd said you knew the difference between engagement and empowerment....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Consultants = people who claim to have knowledge but know nothing.

      Politicians = people who know nothing but claim to have knowledge.

      Consultants + Politicians = a complete shambles.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what's 'boraband'?

    typo or real?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what's 'boraband'?

      ....then there's "swarded".

      Come back Grauniad, all is forgiven.

    2. hplasm

      Re: what's 'boraband'?

      It's capable of going fast, but is generally quite slow.

      q.v VW Bora, the car for old farts that think the Passat is too racy.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not what you want to hear but...

    ...these are not excessive rates for consultants.


    £800+ per day

    You're lucky if you get a decent consultant in for less than £1K per day these days. We normally budget between £600-£1500 per day for technical consultants and £1000-£2000 per day for business consultants (depending on the term).

    1. mark 63 Silver badge

      Re: Not what you want to hear but...

      Well if you want to "Consult" on vbscript, I am an expert.

      Special next month - only £700 per day.

      My point is what do these guys do exactly ?

      From what I've seen they swoop into some govt office , design a crappy spreadsheet with some vba code in it to perfom some minor job slight more quickly than previously , and then bugger off leaving a barely tested "App" if you can call it that , and taking the password to the encypted code with them.

      Next thing the govt office workers are ringing me saying that "In (app name i never heard of) the ABC no longer matches with the XYZ"

      What the fuck am i supposed to do about it?

  4. Corinne

    2 years 5 months, that makes a difference. And don't forget there's VAT to include, and agency fees - I think it'll work out at more like average £500-600 a day after everything has been factored in.

    Unless of course some of these "consultants" are via a consultancy company (Crapita, Accenture etc), in which case you'll find they are being charged out at around 3 times the market rate for an independant contractor.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You get what you pay for...

    The figures quoted are for a 28 month period. £140K is over 28 months. That equates to an avg of £60K per year. Assuming 200 days per year that's £300 per day. That's damn cheap for a consultant.

    If the adage "you get what you pay for" is to hold true, that's 70 cheap and nasty consultants. Little wonder, then, that the progress has been as poor as it has.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You get what you pay for...

      No you fucking don't. I'm reluctantly working on some half baked project with a blue chip consultancy, ultimately on behalf of the most half baked of all government departments.

      The project is paying top dollar, to the tune of about £7m to said consultancy, and the project is a mess. The only real "deliverables" are being developed by seconded industry resources, and even that's badly and with insufficient support.

      At least in the case being reported here the tax payer didn't pay top dollar for consultants. In the case I've described, the project costs will ultimately be loaded on utility bill payers in the lower social orders. Now, I'm as reactionary and anti-government as the next neo-con, but I don't agree with blue chip management consultants feasting richly at the expense of the poor.

  6. Charles Smith

    How would the vulture react

    ... if the Government launched a major technology project without seeking any expert advice?

  7. Grommet

    Didn't the editor proof read this?

    Boraband and swarded

  8. IHateWearingATie

    Average is meaningless...

    ... as they have been on a variety of full time, part time and fixed term contracts. And at different levels of seniority.

    As for using consultants, you don't expect the ministry of fun to have a ready pool of commercial & technical experts to work on a project like this do you?

    Remember Mike Kiley (see was one of the consultants... El Reg commentards had nice things to say about him.

  9. Magister

    Don't forget the "Brussels beurocrats "

  10. Paul Webb

    I like "swarded"!

    The following definitions are from

    - Land covered with grassy turf.

    - A lawn or meadow.

    - The rind of bacon or pork.

    I thought it was quite amusing, given the context.

  11. taxman
    Big Brother

    Forget the cost

    What have they delivered in the past 2 and a half years? Come on, now. What is there?

    Really, all this goes to show is that Civil Servants are not as expensive as private industry!


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