The news that Edinburgh City Councillors will be asked to agree a recommendation from council officials that £1 million be taken from the city’s financial reserves to hire a team of project managers to identify budget savings will have no doubt left readers a tad bemused.
After all, city officials are extremely well paid to carry out their work, part of which is to ensure that budgets are adhered to and departments do not overspend. Six-figure salaries are designed to attract the best that there is on offer yet it would appear that this is not enough and another million quid will be required to help officials carry out their duties.
It is accepted that the council has to sometimes use consultants to bring in expertise that doesn’t exist within the council itself, but budget management is an integral part of the job for senior staff and falls within their job description.
I have no doubt that these project managers will come up with the goods as this method has been successfully deployed before but it still begs the question, why this should be necessary?