2,000 Qld IT staff to be outsourced, says union



blog Now that we’ve had a few days to digest the Queensland Government’s cataclysmic ICT Audit (we’ll have a few stories on the subject later today — stay tuned), the implications of the state’s disastrous ICT operations are starting to hit home to some of the stakeholders involved. One of the state’s obvious first moves will be to outsource a significant portion of its ICT services work. And, of course, the state’s main public sector union, Together Union, is not happy. The Age reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“Together Union secretary Alex Scott says about 2000 positions are likely to be axed, mainly from the shared services and CITEC departments.”

I’m a bit torn on this one. On the one hand, I do indeed feel quite sorry for those Queensland Government ICT workers who are about to lose their previously secure jobs. And it’s also true that the new outsourcing moves will be only the most recent time in a growing string of occasions when ICT workers have been cut from the Queensland Government.

However, there’s also a much larger issue here. There’s no point employing qualified ICT professionals if that model is fundamentally broken, and the Queensland Government’s ICT Audit document has starkly demonstrated that the in-house IT services model is broken in the state government. One of the next (many) moves which the state has to take to be able to stop some of its functions being rendered “inoperable”, as the report found in the medium to long term, has to be outsourcing some ICT work. And that’s just a fact. I anticipate that there will be quite a few jobs going at major ICT outsourcing firms with a Queensland presence fairly shortly (the majors like IBM, Fujitsu, HP, CSC, Unisys and so on, as well as smaller groups like Dimension Data and Data#3), and I encourage any IT professionals currently working in the Queensland Government to examine their position. Because, as Bob Dylan sings, I feel a change comin’ on.


  1. And here I was thinking the Qld government’s audit was written to tell the government exactly what it wanted to hear; an excuse to sack thousands more people and privatise privatise privatise.

  2. Showing your age Renai, it’s “the times, they are a-changin’.

    As has been said many times already, it’s all about governance issues, not the highly skilled and much maligned IT staff who have kept the whole dog’s breakfast more or less functioning.

    As for outsourcing, it’s pretty well established how that goes. The best staff will find better jobs somewhere else. Many of the rest will become outsourcers, slaves to a for-profit culture, with almost complete loss of corporate memory and increase in costs to the Government. $50 password resets anyone? But at least the Government can pursue its privatisation agenda, and the best part, have someone else to blame for ongoing IT dramas. Everyone will be lawyering up to the nines, for the day when governance = contract management.

    • Of course in 5 years time, after the failure of the out-sourcers to deliver (yet again, all it does is add more layers of contract management to the detriment of service delivery, real efficiencies are obviously impossible by complicating the model thus), these systems will have been re-created in-house. Followed by 5 years of consolidation and then the suggestion that out-sourcing would be far more efficient…

      plus ├ža change…

  3. SME’s are where most of this outsourcing should be going. The larger foreign owned services without caring companies should be last on the list. IBM ???…I think that is one organisation that has shown its true colours in Queensland when it comes to assisting Government agencies to spend our tax payers money without any genuine concern for the value the client will get…

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