Spending on consultants by the Home Office has rocketed by 2,000 per cent under Labour to almost £150m a year.
The total amount lavished on management consultants and other so-called experts over the past decade is £545m.
One of the major reasons for the expenditure is trying to get the controversial ID cards project of the ground.
The cash could otherwise have been spent putting 10,900 extra police on streets for a year.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis, who unearthed the figures, said: “The Home Office has had its worst period in its 200-year history, stumbling from crisis to crisis.
“Despite spending £150m last year on consultants – things are getting worse.
“Violent Crime has doubled, immigration has tripled and police now spend more time on paper work than patrol.
“After 10 years of failure, its time for the Government to ditch the spin and bluster. The public deserve better.”
In 1997/98, the Home Office’s total spending on consultants was £7.6m. By last year, it had rocketed to £147.9m.
Spending by the Identity and Passport Service – the arm of the department in charge of the ID cards project – has gone up in the same period from £237,000 to £30m.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Mismanagement, political meddling and poor organisation have resulted in chaos across our public services – trying to patch up the holes with expensive consultants clearly isn’t the solution.
“Too often ministers and civil servants turn to consultants in a panic when things are going wrong and effectively sign a blank cheque, paid for by the taxpayer.
“Even the best consultant can’t do more than tinker around the edges of a system which is fundamentally flawed.
“If we really want to solve the high costs and poor performance of public services then we need radical reform to eliminate political meddling, involve people with management experience in service delivery and give the public choice in how their money is spent.”
Last week, it emerged the Home Office has paid out nearly £22m in staff bonuses in the last five years.
The figures, unearthed by the Liberal Democrats, showed the amount paid out each year has doubled since 2002, despite a string of serious failures by the department.
The total amount being spent across Whitehall on consultants is more than £2 billion a year – the equivalent of 1p on income tax.
The influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last year found that around £500 million-a-year of the money was being wasted and that Whitehall departments often hire advisers without checking if they are suitable for the job.
Some of the consultants charge £2,000 a day for a bewildering range of services. They include advising departments on how to “manage change”, buying new computer systems and carrying out surveys.
Edward Leigh, chairman of the PAC, said: “It is impossible to believe that the public are receiving anything like full value for money from this expenditure.
“In fact, a good proportion of it looks like sheer profligacy. The consultancy firms are truly on to a good thing.”