The Securities and Exchange Commission is, by its own admission, something of an organizational mess right now, so it's done what many corporations have done: called in consultants. In less than a year, the SEC has spent more than $8.5 million on consultants, Reuters reports, hiring first the Boston Consulting Group to suggest reforms, and then Booz Allen Hamilton to follow up on it. Contractors for the companies make as much as $300 an hour, and some critics are questioning whether the SEC is getting its money's worth.
The consultants were hired by the commission's new (and first) chief operating officer, Jeff Heslop, who says he had no choice. "It wasn't like we had a bench of people we could turn to." But critics like Sen. Chuck Grassley think hiring a consultant to implement another consultant's work is a troubling sign. And some are concerned about how the contract was awarded; sources say Heslop tried to expand Booz Allen's contract by millions of dollars without opening it to new competition.