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Beyond the expected

Gershon Review made public

By sexynotsmart 16 October 2008 30

Mr Rudd’s review into ICT spend has been made public at

Among the excitement are recommendations to:

— Reduce contractors by 50% and increase number of APS ICT staff
— Agencies spending more than $20m on “business-as-usual” tasks to achieve cuts of 15%
— Reduce the “Canberra-centricity” of government ICT.

If you work in ICT I suggest reading it all.

If you own a house in Canberra, I’d suggest reading

    5.4.3 Larger agencies to demonstrate how they will develop/increase their capability to manage ICT work remote from Canberra and develop 5–10 year plans to reduce the Canberra-centricity of existing ICT activities

    To reduce the Canberra-centricity of existing agency ICT activities, I recommend that larger agencies in due course be required to demonstrate in NPPs and internally funded projects requiring approval by the two-pass investment process, their capability to locate significant portions of the work outside Canberra, and the intention to do so.


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    Gershon Review made public
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    guy_fawkes 1:04 pm 20 Nov 08

    Window dressing.

    What we in Canberra forget is that the rest of Australia (yep 99% of it) despise the public service and think that its all a waste of money anyway (pretty close to the truth) so any time any government comes out and claims to reduce costs they can score some political brownie points. The real test will be whether the public servants fall for it. A half smart CIO would double his contractors and then reduce it over two years to look like a legend. The rest (and I would think is probably most) will see this an opportunity to piss off the reviled contractors because they now have something that looks like a government directive.

    As we all know the last government thought that outsourcing was the answer – wrong. Now they think that insourcing is the answer. Yeah – that’ll work, all the top IT people will swarm into the APS to be treated like idiots and be bored out of their brains. Is it any wonder that University intakes for IT courses is at an all time low – be smart, become a plumber – they earn more and put up with far less shit.

    Nurf 10:43 am 25 Oct 08

    VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

    The reason IT costs a lot in government is not just the cost of the skilled staff, but also the busted-ass process for procuring services. A lot of the service quoting processes, which include getting onto panels, making shortlists, writing detailed proposals and bids and jumping through the numerous contracting processes all takes substantial time, often using skilled and expensive resources.

    This is absolutely on the money. I run a small IT company, and we can’t get on to the Panels as it just costs too much in time and money. Because of the ridiculous Panel procurement rules, our staff must contract through recruitment agencies who are on the panels and they skim an extra 10%-20% of the income and provide no value at all. They do not cover PAYG, Insurance, Workers Compensation and they are exempt from payroll tax, while my company is covering all of the previous mentioned overheads and must satisfy payroll tax rules and Personal services income test rules.

    If the government wanted to make an immediate saving remove the panel supplier arrangements for all departments, go to open RFQ arrangements like a small number have & and end the parasitic, monopolistic exploitation that these agencies indulge in.

    peterh 1:17 pm 20 Oct 08

    speaking as one who mentioned this in a prior thread, and no-one read that one, the gershon report will make the govt more effective re their overall spending trends, but at what cost?

    will the govt cut costs by sacking staff, or entering into global agreements with the big end of town?

    what happens to the SME resellers who have focused on govt for a big chunk of their revenue?

    what will the govt do when the unemployment numbers increase, after the small players go under?

    this review is nice, but the govt needs to prop up the economy now, to allow business to grow and keep employees in jobs, to buy food and other retail items, to allow the retailers to grow, manufacturers to manufacture, and farmers to farm.

    open the gates to the projects now, Mr Tanner! forget about reform, until there is stability.

    Deano 11:57 am 20 Oct 08

    From reading the IT section in the Canberra Times today you wouldn’t have known a major review into Commonwealth government IT had just been released – just a couple of minor items repeating some vendor press releases.

    It was however interesting to see three major IT vendors (CSC, Kaz and Unisys) all promoting the benefits of outsourcing in the hope of getting a few of the last remaining outsourcing contracts to tide them over until the cycle changes again.

    Aeek 10:40 pm 17 Oct 08

    Our legacy systems are still our core systems. But all the funding is for the outsourcer touted brave new world which is yet to deliver on the promises. I’m amazed our core systems haven’t crashed yet, given how they are being stripped beyond the bone.

    Vic Bitterman 10:21 pm 17 Oct 08

    This alleged gershon “review” is a load of bollocks and will not apply at the coalface.

    Case in point. My project. We’ve got lots of $ available to deliver the business ask.

    We are desperate to secure an IT project manager or two. Farck all available via the PS, despite adverts in the gazette and internally as an EOI.

    So we did a contractor RFT. One of several.

    Wow, should see all the quality talent putting their hats in the ring, albeit at expensive $ cost.

    We picked up a contractor for the next 12 months, and she has the skills to pass on to us too. That’s a good hire. Very expensive, but skilled? You betcha!

    Reviews like gershon mean nothing at the coal face – where we hang out – service delivery.

    gershon = woftom.

    tylersmayhem 4:09 pm 17 Oct 08

    $100-120K for desktop support isn’t what I’d call low

    Where does it state on that link that $100-120k is the rate? I can’ see it there. Even it it actually was that rate, the fact that the job required “secret” clearance could account for a much higher rate as well?!

    Woody Mann-Caruso 3:48 pm 17 Oct 08

    And get off my lawn. I’m playing Hover Bovver.

    Woody Mann-Caruso 3:47 pm 17 Oct 08

    low rates

    $100-120K for desktop support isn’t what I’d call low – back in my day we paid bloody APS4s to do that. To think I could be sitting around all day surfing the net, occasionally answering the phone and giving half-ar.ed answers and still pulling in over $100K…oh, wait…

    Deano 3:29 pm 17 Oct 08

    harley said :

    Just a couple of things I picked out – average ICT contractor cost $186K which is apparently $94K more than the average ICT APS member.

    But this isn’t comparing like with like. The cost of a contractor includes their super, training, indemnity insurance, HR and payroll support, reachback capability, leave entitlements, and not to mention the cost of just doing business with the government. The on-costs for a public servant are typically 1.5 times their salary – so using contractors is actually cheaper in the bigger scheme of things.

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