NDP seeks to probe federal contracts with other consulting firms — not just McKinsey

NDP seeks to expand probe

The NDP is calling on a House of Commons committee to expand its study of federal contracts awarded to McKinsey & Company and include other consulting firms that have received large contracts.

New Democrat MP Gord Johns is bringing forward a motion to expand the scope of the study to include other firms including Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, KPMG, and Ernst & Young.

McKinsey has received attention in recent weeks after media reports highlighted the rapid growth of the company's work for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.

"Canadians are really upset to see that the Liberal government has given hundreds of millions of dollars to a private company instead of letting Canada's public service do the jobs we hired them to do," Johns said in a press release.

"We need to get to the bottom of how much money has been spent in contracting with private companies, outside of McKinsey, under both the Liberals and Conservatives."

The government operations committee will hold its next meeting on the McKinsey contracts later today and will hear from Dominic Barton, the firm's former global managing director.

The Liberal government's relationship with Barton has come under scrutiny amid questions about the extent of the firm's influence on public policy.

Barton was the chair of an advisory council on economic growth for former finance minister Bill Morneau and later served as Canada's ambassador to China.

A researcher testifying before the committee on Monday called the focus on McKinsey a distraction.

Amanda Clarke, an associate professor of public administration at Carleton University, said the study should focus on the public service's reliance on consulting firms overall.

"The focus on outsourcing and contracting in the federal government is the broad enough umbrella to get at these issues and any given firm," Clarke said Monday.

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