Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Dutch government is spending billions of euros on outside consultants and contract staff.
Thanks to the trend for public private partnerships, market forces and competition between essential services, the line between the public and the private sector are becoming increasingly blurred.
After all, this is a country in which professors paid for by the dairy industry are giving speeches about how vital milk is and how important it is we drink more of it.
This is a country where a government advisory committee set up to look at boosting employment is chaired by a CEO who says he will sack thousands of workers unless they agree to a pay freeze and who has taken another country to court in protest at its minimum wages.
And in the Netherlands, the head of the tax office moonlighted as chairwoman of a hospital’s financial watchdog – and was unaware that the hospital in question was using an elaborate tax dodging scheme.
Contracting out none-core operations is a fact of life in modern industry. But the government is not a private company. Its core function is to govern.
It would be good to know just what all these consultants and advisors have actually been doing other than creating more opportunities for external advisors to get involved in the public sector. Perhaps some external auditor should look into it.
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