A £56m bill and rising: the cost of Covid consultancy contracts | Accountancy

Since the onset of the pandemic, the government has spent tens of millions of pounds on management consultants to help it manage elements of the Covid-19 response, from the much-criticised NHS test-and-trace programme to buying PPE.

Earlier this year, the Guardian revealed that at least £56m of taxpayers’ money had gone to companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and McKinsey for their help with initiatives that often have not run smoothly.

Even more has been spent since then, in what has become a fee-earning bonanza for some of the world’s largest professional services firms.

Here are some of the most lucrative contracts picked up by management consultants.

  • Deloitte won a £6.7m contract to help the government buy equipment for intensive care units, including mechanical ventilators

  • The same company earned £3m for providing the Cabinet Office with “general management consultancy services” related to the pandemic

  • The Department of Health paid Deloitte £2.2m for help with buying PPE too

  • Rival PwC picked up £3m from the Cabinet Office for financial analysis

  • It also won a £2.5m contract from the Treasury for general consultancy and research

  • PwC also has a £1.4m contract from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to help run a £200m emergency coronavirus fund for small charities struggling to raise funds

  • KPMG is helping the Department of Work & Pensions with the National Shielding Programme, via a contract worth £650,000

  • Multiple contracts have gone to US-based firm McKinsey, including one from the Department of Health for “troubleshooting” in the government’s Covid-19 data analysis

  • The consultancy has also signed up to provide £308,000 of advice on the impact of the pandemic on social care

  • McKinsey has given £380,000 worth of advice to the Treasury on how various business sectors have been affected

  • The Department of Health has agreed to pay McKinsey £307,000 to model scenarios for how Covid-19 will develop in autumn and winter

  • McKinsey also has a £291,000 contract and Deloitte one for £521,000 to look at how to re-use old PPE

  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has grabbed some of the biggest contracts, including £5m to provide digital support for the NHS test-and-trace programme

  • BCG also won £458,000 of Covid-support work from Defra and £355,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help with its own test and trace role

  • EY was awarded two £400,000 contracts to manage publicity around the programme to track and trace people who are potentially infected, and to improve the purchase of PPE.


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