​Australian Taxation Office seeks more IT folk with new panel

After spending AU$333 million in 2016-17 on outsourced personnel, mainly to rectify outage issues, the ATO is looking to establish an additional labour hire panel.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is seeking labour hire personnel to fill positions in areas such as IT, digital, and data management, moving this week to establish another employment outsourcing panel.

In a request for tender (RFT), the ATO explains it already has two contingent labour hire panel arrangements in place: One for the provision of labour hire services that ends in November, and another for the provision of IT contractor services, that the ATO will be exercising its one-year extension option as of this month.

"The ATO intends to create a new panel arrangement that combines the function of these two panels to holistically manage the ATO's future contingent labour needs," the RFT says. "The new combined panel will allow for streamlined processes and improved supplier relationships."

Specifically, the new service provider panel will be required to be comprised of suppliers providing labour hire personnel to the ATO across three categories: Customer service, corporate management, and administration; tax, accounting, law, and finance; and IT, digital, and data management.

Where category three is concerned, the ATO wants candidates with "various levels of skills and experience" in areas such as data analysis, data miner, database and data, programming, helpdesk/support, project management, cybersecurity, service management, systems administration, systems analysis and design, and systems integration and deployment.

The ATO revealed during Senate Estimates in March it coughed up a "peak" of AU$333 million during 2016-17 on labour hire , outsourcing, and specialist contractors, with many charged with rectifying the work backlog caused by IT outages.

The 2016-17 financial year was a tumultuous one for the Taxation Office where IT infrastructure was concerned, having suffered a handful of outages during the period from "one-of-a-kind" SAN outages to mainframe reboots.

According to ATO chief operating officer Jacqui Curtis, the 2015-16 employment outsourcing total was AU$188.6 million, and then increased, at its peak, to AU$333 million during 2016-17 across three areas of employment: Labour hire, outsourcing, and specialist contractors.

"We are anticipating this will come down again this financial year -- there will be a slight reduction -- and at present, we're currently sitting on AU$116.3 million," Curtis explained in March.

"The outages caused a lot of work to be done manually during that period -- we put on additional resources to that to catch up -- we increased our contractors in that period because we needed specialist contractors to come in, in order to make sure we had a smooth tax time."

Curtis, however, said the ATO is expecting that to "trend down" this year across the employment categories, taking on-notice the specific breakdown of spend, but revealing she expects the figure to peak at AU$280 million for 2017-18.

The ATO is seeking to have the new panel in place for an initial term of three years, with three one-year extension options, commencing on November 1, 2018.


Australian Taxation Office happy to go it alone with cybersecurity

Despite the Australian Signals Directorate last week stating that those not seeking its help with security aren't taking the matter seriously, the Australian Taxation Office has backed its in-house approach.

Four years ago no one would know if we had an outage: ATO

Following a string of IT issues plaguing the ATO, its chief digital officer has said future-proofing its infrastructure for a software-driven future is a priority.

ATO called out for not tracking costs in digital transformation program

The costs and savings associated with the program undertaken to make the ATO more 'contemporary and innovative' have not been tracked, a report from the Audit Office has found.

Head in three clouds: ANAO finds ATO contracts missing service commitments

After eight reports into the outages experienced by the ATO over the past 18 months, ANAO has delivered the findings of its investigation, recommending the taxation office to reassess its service commitments with three cloud vendors.

6 outsourcing trends that will change IT and business in 2018 (TechRepublic)

Shifts in the global tech landscape will bring new expectations and levels of support for both enterprises and outsourcing companies.

Editorial standards