Commercial consultancy firms take on role of civil servants
Research by Dutch television programme ‘Nieuwsuur’ shows that local councils in the Netherlands often lack civil servants and experts to support the implementation of the energy transition. As a result, they have become more dependent on commercial consultancy firms.
‘Local authorities and experts warn of the consequences: commercial consultancy forms are taking over the work of civil servants too often, there is a lack of supervision, and a risk of commercial influence, to the detriment of public funds,’ the Nieuwsuur investigation reveals.
That municipalities often rely on consultancy firms is no surprise to Geerten Boogaard, Professor by special appointment of Local Government. ‘This is currently one of the biggest problems for local authorities.’
Boogaard viewed all the collected data at the request of Nieuwsuur. He believes there are certainly risks involved when commercial firms start to have a say in matters of local authorities. ‘The civil service has a special place in our system to support and challenge the governing bodies’, says Boogaard. ‘If more people are hired on a temporary basis, soon you’ll be missing a very vital form of opposition in public administration.’
Photo: Serge Le Strat via Unsplash