NSW government to outsource ServiceFirst to private sector

The NSW government is inviting shared services providers to register their interest to support ServiceFirst in the hope that a move to the private sector will be more cost effective.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The New South Wales government is searching for a private partner to support its shared services division ServiceFirst.

ServiceFirst provides back-office support for various government agencies, including end-to-end transactional services, human resources, IT, analysis, financial reporting, and compliance. It also combines 350 staff servicing, 46 clients, and approximately 7,500 people.

The government is inviting vendors to register their interest, which is scheduled for release in April, and outline how a new delivery model for ServiceFirst will see respective cost benefits.

Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance said that engaging the private sector will be the most cost-effective outcome for NSW taxpayers.

"ServiceFirst provides a valuable service to the NSW government, but if there's a better way to support agencies and deliver services, we're keen to pursue it," he said.

"We want to achieve value for money from shared service providers, and we are open to different delivery models if it leads to better outcomes, reduced costs, and increased productivity."

According to the NSW government, this initiative supports broader objectives, including the NSW ICT Strategy, and realises value from existing investments in the Corporate and Shared Services Reform program.

"We intend to explore greater market participation through new commercial models to increase contestability and produce more efficient outcomes for the government and taxpayers," Constance said.

"A new sourcing arrangement must enhance the NSW government's ICT Strategy, support our procurement program, and align with other government policies."

Responses to the register of interest will be assessed against a number of criteria to reach a subset of vendors that could potentially provide services to government.

Following market consultation, the NSW Department of Finance and Services said it may consider later stages. The process is expected to be completed by late 2014.

Editorial standards