Derry City Council has paid more than £500,000 to external consultants over the last three years.
The figures, revealed following a ‘Journal’ Freedom of Information request, show that in 2011 the local authority spent £132,579 on consultancy fees.
In 2012 that figure rose to £225,229 while £183,685 was spent during 2013- a total of £541,493 over the three years.
Derry City Council said the appointment of external consultants is undertaken under strict criteria.
“Consultants are only appointed on the basis that a specialist service is required and the relevant requirements do not exist in house to deliver the service,” she said.
“The vast majority of consultancy fees relate to projects funded by external organisations and therefore at no cost to the rate payer.”
The spokeswoman said all consultant appointments are made in full agreement with funders and in line with funder’s procurement process.
The figures further reveal that ten external consultants were recruited in relation to the city’s 2012 hosting of the Clipper Race - at a cost of almost £120,000.
One firm, ASG, received £31,000 for its Clipper advertising and media services, while the O’Neill Group were paid just shy of £18K for ‘Clipper international networking.’
Consultants Penna Production received the single biggest payment across the three years, earning £104,545 in 2013 for their consultancy on City of Culture event production, paid at a daily rate of £1015.
Over the three years McClure Waters were paid over £102,000 for their consultancy on “Business cases and economic appraisals for capital projects/ Evaluation of Kickstart to Work Programme/ Leisure Review/ Community planning.”
Other services consultants were paid for between 2011 ans 1013 included city branding, playground inspections, transport training, disciplinary investigations, asbestos surveys, noise and vibration assessments and tree surveys.