Defence does sums on contractor cull

Defence does sums on contractor cull

Summary: The Department of Defence this week said that the number of IT contractors, which it intended to cull to reach required budget savings, was not set but would be considered this year via additional analysis.

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The Department of Defence this week said that the number of IT contractors, which it intended to cull to reach required budget savings, was not set but would be considered this year via additional analysis.

Defence CIO Greg Farr
(Credit: ZDNet.com.au)

The department has now responded to queries put to it by ZDNet.com.au on how it intended to achieve over $166 million in savings detailed in the recent Federal Budget, mainly from a cut in contractor numbers.

"The final figure is subject to further analysis over the course of 2009," a spokesperson for the department said. That analysis would also decide how many of the contractor positions to go would be converted to in-house jobs, the spokesperson said.

The decisions to be made would take the Gershon review recommendations into account, the spokesperson said, and would also fit with the mandate of the Department's Strategic Reform Program: to make sure it had the right mix of military, civilian and contractor personnel to meet objectives.

In respect to savings made via other means than culling contractors, the department did not release much information, although it did concede that its CIO Greg Farr's previous consideration of thin client would not be part of any cost-saving initiative.

"The reform program will deliver business efficiencies and lower long-term costs," the spokesperson said

The department also responded to reports that it had put a restriction on IT maintenance during parliament sitting days, saying it had issued an internal communications instruction on 19 March this year, which was changed in May to be less restrictive.

Contractors had to reschedule releases to fit into the new schedule, the department said, adding that since personnel would be able to work on other jobs while waiting for windows to carry out maintenance, no consultant work would be wasted.

Topics: IT Employment, Government, Government AU

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Yeah Right!!!!

    You talk about cutting contractors to achieve saving, however, the budget paper clearly says on page 33 and page 34 you are expecting to increase contractors (PSPs) from an estimated 553 in 08/09 to 1156 in 09/10. This number is also estimated to stay the same until the 12/13 financial year. This number excludes DMO as well.

    Why are you saying cut contractors when it is clear in the budget paper you are looking to increase dramatically. The only way you are going to achieve the efficiencies you are after is by using contractors because everyone knows that contractors do alot more work that most APS equivalent.

    If you want to fill more APS positions you need to make it more attractive to contractors to convert. At the moment, no contractor in any agency wants to take a permanent, this is no incentive.
    anonymous