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The Liberal government pays $670,000 to KPMG consultants to help them cut costs on consultants

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Trudeau’s inept government has created a new debacle that is making more than a few people wonder if the government even knows the meaning of fiscal responsibility. 

Its questionable cost-cutting measure has raised eyebrows after the Natural Resources department hired KPMG on as a consultant – to advise on cutting down on consulting costs among other things. 

In total, this government department spent over half a million dollars to lower long-term outsourcing bills! Hopefully it was worth it, although it’s hard to imagine how it could be worth the cost. 

While Trudeau preaches restraint, outsourcing under his watch has nearly doubled instead. And failed files like ArriveCan, which is still under investigation for its murky contracting, are evidence of a clear pattern of poor decision making and lack of oversight.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that this latest spending spree at the Natural Resources department will cost taxpayers at least $669 thousand. But unfortunately, Trudeau and his Liberal government seem dead-set on reaching into your pocket to foot the bill.

Was it worth it? Find out in this video if Trudeau just blew through taxpayer money – again!

It seems the Liberal government has found itself in somewhat of an ironic predicament. In an effort to cut costs on expensive consultants and ensure taxpayers’ money is spent efficiently, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson hired consultants from KPMG with consulting fees to the tune of $669,650. That’s right, the department spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to have consultants advise them on how to save money on consultants.

It makes you wonder if anywhere in KPMG’s probably lengthy and detailed report was a section pointing out the contradictory nature of hiring expensive outsiders to advise on curbing expensive outsourcing. In reality their glossy report probably advised hiring them on again for additional recommendations. 

While this splurge came from just Minister Wilkinson’s department, Trudeau’s government spent $15.7 billion dollars in the 2022-23 fiscal year alone on “Professional and Special Services”. That’s an incredible 88% increase from the $8.35 billion spent on outsource services in 2015-16. Adding insult to injury, that same year Trudeau and his Liberal party promised in their federal election campaign they would cut costs on external consultants.

Clearly that promise has been broken. 

So what did $669 thousand get the Department? 

The documents submitted by KPMG were presented to Parliament at the request of NDP MP and member of government operations committee Gord Johns, who is cracking down on spending inefficiencies by looking at contracts with external management companies. 

Johns criticized the spending on KPMG consultants, saying it showed how unreasonable and excessive federal outsourcing had become. He stated this kind of practice needed to end, and that funds paid to consultants would be better spent addressing more urgent priorities.

Natural Resources Department spokesperson Miriam Galipeau defended the spendings highlighted in the documents presented at parliament by explaining that while the contract with KPMG was signed prior to the savings target proposal deadline, Natural Resources was “able to leverage its pre-existing contract with this firm” to help put together its proposal that was due to the Treasury Board in October 2023.

The documents provided to Parliament showed that NRCan approved two “task authorization” payments on their existing KPMG contract. One was for $325,000 with an August 25 deadline, and the other was for $344,650 with an October 31 cutoff, totalling just over $669,650 in invoices to the consultants.

When it comes down to it, this Natural Resources spending just further exposes how Trudeau’s promises on balancing budgets and spending responsibly continue to ring hollow. Time and time again we see huge outsourcing contracts handed out with seemingly little oversight or concern for value.

Now, a Federal effort led by Treasury Board President Anita Anand aims to reduce expenditures by $15 billion over the coming five fiscal years. This target requires contribution from all government departments. Ministers are tasked with assessing where their budgets can be managed more prudently through measures like curbing unnecessary consulting contracts. The Natural Resources Minister is one of several charged with contributing to the spending reduction effort, but it seems he missed the memo.

The government had identified spending on outsourcing and consultants as a key area to find budget reductions. All federal departments had a deadline of October 2nd to submit their proposed cuts to the Treasury Board President for review, to support the $15 billion dollar savings target outlined in the 2023 budget.

And no one in this current government ever seems to be held truly accountable. Just look at how much money has disappeared into failed programs like ArriveCan that provided little benefit to Canadians. Yet the very consultants and insiders who helped drive up those costs continue getting cushy deals.

The government operations committee continues to investigate how the costs of the ArriveCan app ballooned beyond $54 million, partly due to extensive outsourcing of IT services.

The ongoing hearings are looking into allegations of wrongdoing raised by Montreal software company Botler. While Botler did not work on ArriveCan itself, its complaints to the CBSA involve three IT contracting firms that received significant outsourcing work for the ArriveCan project. The CBSA referred Botler’s allegations to the RCMP, who say they are investigating.

This week, the committee will examine interactions between private IT contractors awarded government deals and public officials responsible for procurement. They will hear from two former CBSA contracting employees, Cameron MacDonald and Antonio Utano, whose names appear frequently in documents related to both ArriveCan deals and Botler’s proposed project.

Specifically, Botler raised concerns with the CBSA about MacDonald urging them to partner with GCStrategies consulting firm. GCStrategies received over $11 million for their ArriveCan work, more than any other contractor, despite Botler expressing a preference to contract directly with the CBSA instead of through a third party like GCStrategies.

It’s easy for Trudeau to give lofty speeches about fiscal responsibility when campaigning. But eight years in, the books clearly show a lack of discipline or serious effort to control absurd expenses. The needs of special interests and donors often seem to take priority over the taxpayer who foots the exorbitant bills.

With the cost of living skyrocketing and the economy in shambles, the last thing overburdened Canadians need is to see their hard-earned tax dollars frittered away on frivolous matters. People are already struggling enough to pay their bills and put food on the table. They don’t need the added frustration of learning that during these tough times, their government chose to squander hundreds of thousands on consultants advising about consultants, or drop millions more into controversial projects. 

At a time when every dollar counts, it’s unacceptable that taxpayer funds aren’t being managed with maximum prudence and oversight. With so many pressing needs in communities, citizens expect the sensible use of their money – not wasteful practices that seem designed more for the comfort of insiders than the financial security of ordinary people just trying to get by.

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