BERL’s now disgraced report on “the social costs” of alcohol use “is work that doesn’t look like it meets the ‘normal standards you would expect’,” says Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Dr Peter Bushnell. “I can see the point being made in the article – it looks pretty shonky.”
And Eric Crampton reckons the problems with this BERL report belie a more general problem with economic consultancy reports, “in that there needs to be somebody looking at the Requests For Proposals (RFPs) that a ministry sends out, and checking the results when they come in.”
I think he could have stopped with “a problem with economic consultancy reports.”
Meanwhile, BERL are still yet to comment on Treasury’s bollocking of their work. At this point, the last word from “BERL Chief Economist Ganesh Nana” is that “BERL stands by its report.” If that’s still the case, I’d suggest you start discounting everything they say.
The interesting thing here is that this is a very strong statement coming from a very senior member of the Treasury. It is unusual to see such statements. Treasury can not be happy.
The NBR also says,
Sir Geoffrey [who commissioned the report and has already started making gravy with it] was overseas when contacted by NBR, and has declined to comment on the matter thus far.
Is he running for cover? It will be interesting to see what he says, if anything, on the matter when he returns from overseas.