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Dublin City Council has paid out more than €18 million on consultants since 2013

The area of Environment and Transportation accounted for more than half of the consultant fees paid out.
May 22nd 2016, 7:00 PM 12,361 77

shutterstock_194848142 Source: Shutterstock/Pressmaster

SPENDING BY DUBLIN City Council on consultants over the past three years has come to more than €18 million, figures released to TheJournal.ie have revealed.

During this time outside experts have been called in to help out on a whole range of projects – from guidance on major reconstruction work to advice on how to best run the staff canteen.

These figures – released under the Freedom of Information Act and covering a period from the start of 2013 up to the end of February this year – break down annually like this:

Graph one

Click here to view a larger version of the chart. 

While the figure might seem high, it works out a as a relatively small slice of the council’s overall annual budget.

During 2013 and 2014 the council’s revenue expenditure came to €818.3 million and €747.9 million respectively, and budgets for this year and last year (financial records for 2015 are expected to be released next month) pencilled in spends of €803.56 million and €773.02 million.

Dublin city council building Dublin City Council HQ Source: Wikicommons

To put this in some context, in 2014 – the last year full financial records are available for – DCC spent just over €112 million investing in housing and just over €22 million on roads and safety (although – and this is a bit confusing – these figures aren’t included in revenue expenditure as it was money spent buying or improving long-term assets).

Who spent the most on consultants? 

Spending on consultants has, understandably, been higher in departments with larger overall budgets.

Here is how things break down:

  • Corporate services: €572,946.50
  • Culture and Community: €1,427,660.04
  • Environment and Transportation: €12,171,709.23
  • Housing: €1,478,862.83
  • Human Resources: €287,460.46
  • Planning and Development: €1,262,550.46
  • Central Area: €4,341.00
  • North Central Area: €9,680.00
  • North West Area: €4,305.00
  • South Central Area: €68,911.84
  • South East Area: €11,900.25
  • Dublin Fire Brigade: €117,237.89
  • Chief Executive: €704,780.88

As you can see, by far the area that has spent the most on consultants since the start of 2013 has been Environment and Transportation with €12,171,709.23 – a figure that accounts for more than half of the council’s total consultancy spend in the period.

Following behind it, the three areas with the next largest spends on consultants were Housing with €1,478,862.83; Culture and Community with €1,427,660.04; and Planning and Development with €1,262,460.46.

Graph two

Click here to view a larger version of the above image. 

What was the money spent on? 

In the area of Environment and Transportation big sums of money have been spent on outside help for specific projects.

For examples, in 2015 more than €230,000 was paid out on work to re-purpose the boiler house in Ballymun.

Another big spend in the area was €840,230.78 over the three years on costs related to implementing the EU’s Water Framework Directive – the controversial piece of legislation tied to the introduction of Irish Water.

In the area of Housing big chunks of cash went on architects, consultant engineers and assistance with fire safety issues.

In Corporate Services more than €300,000 was shelled out during the period on what is classified as “corporate crisis communication and events promotion”.

Just shy of €2,000 was also spent in this area on catering advice for the staff canteen.

Read: Plans for 3,000 homes on Dublin glass bottle site

Also: Protesters fight ‘land giveaway’ to private developers

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Michael Sheils McNamee

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