CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Shop View: Governing the Government

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Why can’t governments make decisions without hiring consultants?

More importantly, why must governments pay astronomical daily fees for expert advice from consultants, such as our esteemed Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty did when he hired management consulting firm Deloitte Inc., to advise the cabinet and senior officials on how to erase the federal deficit by 2014-15?

According to media reports, the August 15 contract is worth close to $19.8 million. It runs until March 31, which works out to approximately $90,000 a day.

Aren’t the senior officials the government hires the people who are supposed to advise the government on how best to handle a problem like a deficit cut?

I’m not against governments seeking outside advice. In fact, it’s a good idea for governments to assess the impact their actions will have on the public. Here’s an idea though, instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars to consulting firms, why not skip that step and go out and seek input directly from the people who will be most affected by any respective cuts the government wants to make? Sure, the consulting firms often do indeed reach out to the people being affected by a government policy change, but they do it for a high fee. Wouldn’t it be less expensive to get some of those government officials to reach out directly to the public and seek input?

That fact is, governments are frequently viewed as having unlimited coffers and some businesses take advantage of that.

Ever noticed how construction projects being paid by the government seem to frequently take twice or three times as long as private developments – e.g. building new homes? That’s because the new home building project is run by a privately owned company that knows the longer it takes to build something, the more it will cost.

If governments want to seek outside advice, they would do well to seek out many businesses in the manufacturing sector which face a daily reality of managing cost cutting measures, while trying to improve productivity and grow their companies.

Mary Scianna. Editor, Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine

Read more editorial blogs from the Shop Metalworking Technology Team.

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