Qld begins govt-wide contractor program

The Queensland Government has decided to outsource a key role for the management of ICT contractors at a whole-of-government level.
Written by Luke Hopewell, Contributor

The Queensland Government has decided to outsource a key role for the management of ICT contractors at a whole-of-government level.

Last year, the Queensland Government finally revealed a contractor sourcing model that it hoped would save it money. It had originally unveiled a master vendor model that would see the government draw on a database of contractors controlled by a single vendor. However, the industry didn't like that model, so the government came up with a plan of appointing a resource manager who would be responsible for managing procurement agency requests for contractor placements and monitoring their performance.

Agencies would continue to source contractors from the labour-hire firms they had previously worked with, according to the plan at the time; however, all agencies would be required to work through a specific framework when asking for and engaging a contractor. The information from this would flow through to the resource manager to be analysed in a database, which would allow rates to be compared, ensuring they didn't get out of hand. Companies would have to meet criteria to supply contractors.

The government had hoped to have the new model finalised by the end of 2010.

Now the Queensland Government Chief Procurement Office has this week appointed Talent2 as its whole-of-government ICT contractor coordinator in a three-year contract worth $7.8 million. The new deal means that Talent2 will become the designated resource manager for all 13 state government agencies.

The resource manager position had intended to be an internal appointment within the Chief Procurement Office, based on comments from former Public Works and ICT Minister, Robert Schwarten, last year. After an assessment of the position, however, the Department of Public Works made the decision to outsource the role.

"By using Talent2 services to coordinate the recruitment of ICT contractors, the government expects to achieve considerable benefits through better management of its ICT contingent labour across [whole of government] rather than an agency-by-agency focus," the Queensland Department of Public Works said to ZDNet Australia.

"For example, we will stop competing with ourselves for the same resources or poaching resources from other agencies. The government also expects the resource manager to deliver considerable savings as well as improved administrative processes such as reporting, invoicing and performance management."

John Rawlinson, Talent2's chief executive officer, praised the state government for its focus on efficiency.

"This deal highlights how smart organisations continue to refocus on the strategic areas of their business, and align themselves with partners that deliver best-practice, innovation and cost-effective solutions," he said in a statement.

Agencies using Talent2 as the one-stop resource shop will be phased in over a period of time, with the first two being added to the program this month.

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