The Ministry of Defence has come under attack for hiring yet another consultancy firm to carry out work despite huge spending cuts.
Accountancy group KPMG is front runner to secure a £30million contract to be the MoD’s new Acquisition Support Partner.
An announcement on the three-year contract is expected this week.
The programme is designed to teach business skills to military and civil personnel who will be in charge of controlling budgets for anyone from the Army, Navy or Air Force going on active service.
But critics say the scheme is flawed because it will waste money teaching skills to people who may then move on after just three years to other jobs within the ministry that have nothing to do with budget control, leaving a new person in the role with none of the skills taught by the consultants.
The department has faced criticism for the number of consultants it hires at a time when it is under pressure to curb costs.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is slashing £1billion from spending but it is thought that up to 500 firms have been paid many millions over the past four years to work on defence contracts that were previously done by its own staff.
Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, who has edited a forthcoming book called Defence Acquisition for the 21st Century, said: ‘We cannot contract out what the MoD needs to understand and do itself.
‘The over reliance on consultants is no substitute for the department to have the right understanding of what it needs to do.’
A spokesman for the MoD said: ‘We are currently undertaking major reforms as to how we do our business and we make maximum use of our staff expertise to achieve our goals. Where necessary we engage external consultants to draw on their skills.’