Defence dept grilled in Parliament

MPs have condemned the excessive spending on consultants by the Defence Department.

MPs have condemned the excessive spending on consultants by the Defence Department.

CAPE TOWN - The Defence Department came under fire in Parliament on Tuesday over its use of consultants.

The ministry and the police department faced tough questions from Members of Parliament (MPs) on billions of rands used to pay consultants.

The auditor general's report in January found that eight national departments spent more than R24 billion over a three year period.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts asked the defence and police departments to explain their excessive spending on consultants.

The department spent almost R15 billion combined over three years.

ANC MP Roy Ainslie began by asking the Director General of Defence Sam Gulube to explain the department's long-standing contract with the Aero Manpower Group to supplement skills in the air force.

The contract cost in access of R859 million.

"Why has it taken so long for the department to revisit this contract which is open ended? It does not conform to changes in legislation and has no skills transfer component.

Gulube said they were in the process of terminating the contract.

Ainslie said in many instances, the ministry failed to do a cost benefit analysis.

The auditor general found the department did not take steps to create permanent capacity by employing permanent staff.