blog Remember how then-Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner commissioned British efficiency expert Sir Peter Gershon back in 2008 to undertake a review of the Federal Government’s use of ICT? Remember how one of the conclusions of Gershon’s review was that departments and agencies were asked to drastically reduce their use of external contractors? Of course you do. Well, according to iTNews (we recommend you click here for the full article), the Government has broadly failed to meet those targets. The publication reports:
“Australian Government ICT expenditure benchmarking data released by AGIMO in May 2013 revealed that external labour as a proportion of the total ICT workforce dropped from 23 percent in 2008-09 to 21 percent in 2011-12 … this suggests that the policy removed the number of contractors by 11 percent, well short of the 50 percent target.”
To be honest, we can’t say we’re surprised. Gershon’s recommendations were met with derision from many with knowledge of the Canberra workforce situation at the time, and it was surmised by many that the dropped contractors would eventually regain contracting positions are major departments and agencies, for the simple reason that there really wasn’t any other way for those agencies to get the work done that they needed to. While there were many great outcomes of the Gershon review, this one was always one that was going to be hard to accomplish. This news will, however, add to the impression of many who keep an eye on goings-on in public sector in Australia, in that there is a general view that change — real, effective change — is very hard to come by in slow-moving Government circles.