The Queensland Government has released its new model for sourcing contract work from the IT industry.
Concerned with the amount of money it was spending on contractors, the Queensland Government decided to introduce a new sourcing model, called a master vendor model, which would see the government draw on a database of contractors controlled by a single vendor. The database of contractors would be owned by the government, which would eventually bypass current vendors.
This idea neither met approval of industry groups, nor Queensland-based analyst firm Longhaus which had been commissioned to write a report on the model.
The government then entered discussions with the industry to find an alternative. Public Works and Information and Communication Technology Minister Robert Schwarten announced the new model in Queensland Parliament today.
"The government will not develop its own contractor resource pool but will continue to access the skills required from industry through the resource manager [within the Chief Procurement Office]," Schwarten said.
"The resource manager will be responsible for establishing clear and transparent protocols for managing recruitment agency requests for contractor placements, levels of payment, skills required, contractor management and performance."
Agencies would continue to source contractors from the labour-hire firms they had previously worked with, according to Paul Campbell, executive officer of ICT Industry Workgroup. However, all agencies would be required to work through a specific framework for asking for and engaging a contractor.
The information from this framework would flow through to the resource manager to be analysed in a database. "The process will be tied down, the datasets will be comprehensive, and will be analysed in a timely way," Campbell said. "There's going to be accountability."
Pay rates would be monitored via this method, he said, with questions asked if rates were far from the mean.
Only companies which met a capability threshold could take part in the process. If performance criteria were not met, agencies could not use the under-performing company. The person hired to do the work, the agency and the labour-hire firm would all be able to comment on performance, Campbell said.
Until they were proven otherwise, all companies currently supplying contractors to the government were eligible to do so, he said.
The government hoped to have the new model finalised by the end of the year, according to Campbell.