Brisbane City Council spent more than $44 million on recruitment and labour hire agency contracts across one year, new figures reveal.

The LNP administration released the figures in response to a question on notice from the Labor opposition.

Brisbane City Council spent more than $44 million on professional services contracts with recruitment and labour hire companies in 2017-2018.
Brisbane City Council spent more than $44 million on professional services contracts with recruitment and labour hire companies in 2017-2018.CREDIT:DARREN ENGLAND/AAP

The question asked for a list of all companies that provided professional services to the council during the 2017-2018 financial year and the total value of contracts with each company.

Recruitment companies topped the list, the top three highest contracts being with job agencies.

The council spent an average of $858,311 per week on more than 25 contracts with recruitment companies and agencies over the 2017-2018 financial year.

Eleven of those contracts were between $1 million and $8 million.

The three most expensive contracts were with international recruitment company Hays and Peoplebank Australia, both of which had contracts with the council at $8.6 million.

BCC had more than 8000 full-time equivalent employees in 2017-2018 and, according to its annual report, received 18,234 job applications that year, of which 1817 people were appointed.

Finance and administration committee chairman Adam Allan (Northgate) did not respond to questions about why the council was spending so highly on multiple recruitment agencies.

Cr Allan did not answer whether the council had its own in-house recruitment department, or how much it spent in total on recruitment in the 2017-2018 financial year compared with the year prior.

Instead, a spokeswoman from the lord mayor’s office said: “Brisbane City Council will use agencies to find the best qualified people for specialised employment positions”.

Asked for further detail, the spokeswoman said the council at times “engages temporary administration and trade workers through agencies to meet the demands of peaks in workloads”.

“This is a more economically viable option as using temporary staff can keep costs down on projects, ensuring we are getting the best value for ratepayers,” she said.

Labor lord mayoral candidate Pat Condren called on the council to explain in detail why so much was spent in one year.

“It’s an eye-watering amount,” he said.

“Brisbane residents will be cranky to learn so much of their money is being spent on services that could be done in-house.”

Other professional recruitment contracts included a $5.3 million deal with McArthur Management Services and a $3.9 million agreement with specialised heavy industry recruitment firm Rexco People.

Smaller contracts included DFP Recruitment Services Australia at $1.2 million, along with Professional Recruitment Australia, and Eden Ritchie Recruitment, which specialises in accounting and IT jobs.

Among multiple smaller contracts with boutique recruitment and contract-hire companies were Davidson Recruitment at $506,075 and Contract Personnel at $423,096.

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