McKinsey a 'distraction' from problem of consulting contracts, researcher tells MPs

OTTAWA — A researcher testifying before a parliamentary committee on the rise in government contracts awarded to McKinsey & Company said the focus on that one consulting firm is a distraction.

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

Clarke says there are legitimate questions about McKinsey's ethical track record, but that would be a separate issue to consider from the outsourcing of public service work.

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

The House of Commons government operations committee will review contracts awarded to the firm since 2011, which would also include those signed by the former Conservative government.

The consulting firm has also been scrutinized for its role in the opioid pandemic in the United States as well as working with autocratic governments globally.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2022.

The Canadian Press