Friday 22 January 2021

Government spending on external staff hits €1.4bn, despite limits


Dutch government ministries spent €1.4bn last year hiring external personnel, a rise of over 60% on 2011, the AD said on Wednesday.

Six of the 12 ministries are breaking guidelines which say external hires should not account for more than 10% of personnel costs and the education and economic affairs ministries are spending 20% of their staffing budgets on outsiders.

The education ministry says in its annual report the need for outsiders is ‘so great that a speedy reduction towards 10% is unlikely’. In particular, student loan group DUO is heavily dependent on outside IT experts.

The economic affairs ministry also blames the demand for IT staff.

Some 40% of the government cash spent on outsiders goes on technical staff – a total of €530m last year.  By contrast, just €14m was spent on legal advice and €28m on accountancy services.

Tilburg University labour market professor Ton Wilthagen told the AD that external staff are always more expensive and that he doubts the government is doing enough to attract talented IT experts.

‘The government is not a bad employer,’ he  points out. ‘You get job security, lots of free days. That could be used in marketing the jobs, but does not happen.’

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