13 October 2022

Government working on model to bring APS consulting in-house

| Chris Johnson
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Katy Gallagher is working on a model for in-house consulting across the APS. Photo: File.

The Federal Government is developing a model to bring as much public service consulting as possible in-house to reduce the massive spending on contract labour and outsourcing.

Minister for the Public Service Katy Gallagher will today use an address to the Institute of Public Administration Australia national conference in Canberra to outline how the government is moving towards that goal.

“There is already deep expertise in the APS. Like data analytics and evaluation, customer service and event management, foreign policy, geoscience, or curating priceless historical collections,” the Minister says.

“An in-house consulting model will give public servants the opportunity to develop expertise further, build relationships, collaborate with colleagues, and challenge themselves in new ways. It can create opportunities to work across departments to support one APS.

“We have started work on a model for the Government to consider by the end of the year, and I look forward to sharing more with you as we progress.”

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Alongside the in-house model, The APS Academy will have an important role to play.

Senator Gallagher describes the academy, which is run by the Australian Public Service Commission, as the service’s central capability development program.

“Let’s not give away some of our most interesting work on evaluation, project management and strategy to the private sector,” she says.

“To deliver on the government’s commitment to reduce reliance on consultants, the government is working to develop an in-house consulting model for the APS to strengthen core capabilities and functions that have increasingly been contracted out to consultants at significantly higher costs.

“There is work to be done in repairing years of neglect suffered by our public institutions. Outsourcing, poor resourcing, clunky systems, and deliberate devaluing by the previous Morrison government has meant that the Australian people are looking at our institutions with a more jaundiced eye.

“The Albanese Labor Government’s plans to reform the APS will make it an organisation that is more capable, with greater integrity, placing people at the centre of what we do and a model for other governments and organisations to follow.”

Decreasing the cost and use of consultants in the Australian Public Service was a Labor election commitment. It aims to reduce spending on private external labour by $3 billion over four years.

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