The Department for Exiting the EU — Dexeu — has handed a £2million contract for Brexit advice to Boston Consulting Group.
That makes the American management consultancy one of the biggest beneficiaries of Whitehall’s Brexit spending, with five contracts totalling £4.7 million.
The Evening Standard has been campaigning for better disclosure of Brexit consultancy fees since many departments obfuscated or refused to reveal their spending after Freedom of Information requests lodged by the newspaper in January.
Despite the Boston contract with Dexeu having commenced in December, it did not appear in responses to our FOI requests.
The payment only came to light today as it appeared on the government contracts website and was highlighted by tenders researcher Tussell.
It is unclear what services Boston Consulting is providing the Brexit department because of heavy redactions in the paperwork, but the document refers to “support for the Cross Government Delivery Co-ordination of the EU Exit Programme”.
Another FOI unearthed that Dexeu took on three secondees from Boston Consulting on civil service salaries in October. KPMG, Oliver Wyman, McKinsey, Deloitte and PwC have lent it staff for nothing.
Brexit work handed by civil servants to consultants so far totals £29 million. But more is thought to be “hidden” under other categories.
A DExEU spokesperson said: "The Government is utilising the skills of the brightest and best across the Civil Service as we prepare to exit the EU.
"It is also quite standard for a Government department to draw on the advice of external specialists. We will continue to bring in expertise from outside as appropriate."