At the NHS Alliance annual conference in Manchester last week, Mr O'Brien said more openness and transparency was required when private consultancies are used.
'What I do not want to see is consultants being employed to make difficult decisions. People are paid well to make difficult decisions and should make them,' said the health minister.
Responding to a health select committee report the DoH said data on use of management consultants in the NHS was 'neither consistent nor complete'.
The response backed a call for PCTs, SHAs and the DoH to publish details of all firms they employ and projects they are working on. A list of the 10 most expensive daily rates and sample contracts for peer review and analysis will also be published.