TasWater's $1.1m consultancy spend

TASWATER has come under fire again after revelations the company spent more than $1.1 million on consultants in the past year.

A leaked internal document released yesterday showed among the outlay was $435,000 paid to a consultancy firm tasked with developing a new company structure.

The budget document was circulated by Professionals Australia, a union representing senior staff at the water corporation.

Its veracity has been confirmed by the company.

Professionals Australia state director Luke Crowley said the spending was reckless and wasteful.

"It just beggars belief that TasWater can pay so much to develop a company structure when that work could be done in-house," Mr Crowley said.

"TasWater already spends millions of dollars on its management team, who are surely up to the task."

The figures come after it was revealed in June TasWater paid a multinational recruitment firm $280,000 to conduct interviews during the organisation's restructure, and about $50,000 to consultants engaged with enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations.

Mr Crowley said it was not the overall figure alone that most concerned the union, but that it was spent on a "fundamentally flawed" restructure process.

He said the $1.1 million outlay had angered staff working hard to ensure proper management of the state's water.

A TasWater spokesman said the council-owned company was staffed appropriately, and would continue to engage outside consultants to assist in major projects and initiatives.

"The use of short-term, specialised services ensures TasWater operates as effectively as possible," the spokesman said.

"This has been a complex restructure and TasWater has met its savings targets for the last financial year and is on track to meet future targets."

But Mr Crowley said the only party who thought the merger had been handled efficiently and cost-effectively was TasWater itself.

The restructure figures come as TasWater and its employees remain locked in a dispute over new pay negotiations.

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