The U.K. Department for International Development has “thrown away” millions of pounds to pay for consultants, office refurbishments and private school fees, an investigation by a British newspaper reveals.
The department spent more than 255,000 pounds (USD403,029) on taxi fares in Britain, according to the Mail Online newspaper. DfID has also spent some 29 million pounds on office refurbishments since 2002, including 11 million pounds to renovate its headquarters in London, it adds.
“But, although the existing budget is a catalogue of waste, the DfID’s front-line spending budget is to be increased by 37 per cent over the next four years – even as other departments face cuts of almost 20 per cent,” Mail Online notes.
>> DfID’s Aid Budget Spared from UK Spending Cuts
Payments to external private sector consultants amounted to some 19 million pounds in 2009 and a total of 65 million pounds in the last three years, the paper cited a study of British parliamentary answers.
DfID’s performance-related pay has more than doubled to 10 million pounds in the last six years, with 19 members of staff receiving more than 30,000 pounds in bonuses last year, Mail Online reports.
DfID staff serving overseas also receive “generous education allowances” for their children, according to Mail Online, citing 48 members of staff who received a total of 1.3 million pounds in private school fees in 2009.
Philip Davies, a Conservative member of the British Parliament, said to the paper: “These details emphasise why the first priority should be to spend the existing budget in a more sensible way … You don’t go around increasing a budget that is wasting so much of its existing allocation.”