Deloitte earns 90k a day from Canadian government

20 February 2012

A lot of noise arose in Canada after finding out the advisory firm Deloitte earns over $90k a day from the Canadian government in return for delivering advisory services. Part of an 8 month contract with a total value of $19.8-million, Deloitte advises the government on several cost-cutting measures. The news is particularly hot as the government just announced that it paid PriceWaterhouseCoopers $2.5-million fee for advice on how to reduce 308 data centers to nearly 20.

Deloitte was hired on August 15 2011 to advise the government on finding enough savings to balance the books by 2014. Canada is facing a massive cost-cutting challenge: the government has to trim $4 billion from $80 billion in annual program spending. Deloitte was selected out of a shortlist of more than 20 "pre-qualified" firms, including Ernst & Young, IBM and Accenture. The contract runs to March 31 2012, and will provide senior and elected officials on public- and private-sector with best practices in improving productivity and achieving operational efficiencies.


Criticism by the police

Opponents of the cabinet are negative: "hiring Deloitte and paying them firm $90,000 a day is wasteful and unnecessary" according to Peggy Nash, a critic from the opposition. "The government likes to pretend that they're prudent in terms of economic spending but at the same time they have this massive contract with an external consulting firm that will only advise them to chop thousands of public sector jobs". According to Democrat Jean Crowder the Canadian people "will not buy the justification for spending $90,000 a day for an outside consultant to plan cuts. A day's pay for Deloitte Consulting is more than a year's pay for front-line Service Canada workers. While Conservatives throw money away on high-priced consultants, they are forcing Canadians to accept cuts to the programs and services that they rely on," Crowder continued.

Government defends high expenses to Deloitte

In a reactance to the criticism, the government stands firm by its decision to hire Deloitte. Industry Minister Christian Paradis called the Deloitte contract "normal," saying "there will be major decisions to be taken and we need an expert from the private sector to do it properly."



How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.