The government has been accused of awarding £75 million worth of Brexit contracts in secret.
The massive agreements with top consultancy firms started in April but were never announced to the public, according to a Sky News investigation.
The broadcaster said the contracts were worth up to £10m each and were awarded to nine firms, including Deloitte and Boston Consulting.
The investigation revealed in total three US companies had been given contracts worth a combined £25m.
It added the information about the deals was only released on the government website in December and key details were missing.
The documents apparently did not contain names of government officials who signed off on the deal and the specific work that was being carried out by the firms.
The only information apparently given was the companies would offer consultancy support for EU Exit to the Cabinet Office.
Brexit contracts awarded to firms
- Accenture – £5m
- Deloitte – £10m
- Ernst & Young – £10m
- Mott Macdonald – £5m
- PA Consulting Services – £10m
- Pricewaterhousecoopers – £10m
- Bain & Company (US) – £10m
- The Boston Consulting Group (US) – £10m
- McKinsey and Company (US) – £5m
This infuriated chair of the public affairs committee chair Meg Hillier who confirmed the National Audit Office would be investigating.
The Labour MP said: It is completely unnecessary – secrecy for the sake of secrecy.
Its not a secret that the government needs management consultants to help prepare for Brexit.
But not to tell us what those consultants are doing, when theyre being paid between £5m and £10m, is just crazy.
I just dont understand why the government is so intent on keeping it secret.
Sky added the contracts were given under Health and Community, which made it very difficult for smaller companies to compete for them.
The agreements with the nine companies expire on 30 April 2019 but can be renewed for 12 more months after that.