30 September 2022

Some extra juicy APS news bites our hound on the ground has dug up

| Mr Smiggle
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Mr Smiggle – head of HR at Region and your hound on the ground. Image: Region.

Smiggle here, back with some more juicy bits and barking mad news nibbles I’ve been able to collar while getting acquainted with a few trees in the parliamentary triangle … and beyond.

The project is tanking

Defence’s LAND 400 project has run into a few roadblocks.

LAND 400 Phase 3 is meant to be managing the delivery of the next generation of armoured infantry fighting vehicles and is scoped to acquire and support 450 of them.

The vehicles will replace the current M113 armoured personnel carriers from the 1960s which are no longer fit for purpose.

A decision over which international bidder (Germany or South Korea) will win the contract was scheduled to be announced this month (September).

But no, the decision has been put off again with no real reason being offered as to why.

A further delaying ‘review’ will instead report back in March.

Let’s hope we’re not attacked in the meantime.

Mission critical

When it comes to big money, it seems that IT giant IBM is on the verge of getting its contracts renewed for a string of federal government departments.

With contract lengths varying from three to five years, depending on individual agencies, it is a multi-billion dollar deal just waiting to be signed.

IBM supplies infrastructure and software for “mission-critical applications” and it is so embedded it’s hard for the government to change providers even if it wanted to.

The recent ANAO report on the Data Transformation Agency highlighted the problems these deals can create.

READ ALSO Procurement failures put Digital Transformation Agency on the chopping block

Transform this

The predicted demise of the DTA since the scathing ANAO report into its ICT procurement practices is being welcomed by many inside the ranks of the Australian Public Service.

“The DTA made my life hell” is a refrain being repeated across the senior levels of the whole sector right now.

Must be karma, then.

Oils is oils

Iconic Aussie rock band Midnight Oil return to Canberra on Saturday and will do their best to bring the power and the passion back to the capital after their last scheduled show was cancelled in April.

There was no blue sky mine that day when severe weather threw the Canberra gig to the forgotten years and the band took their red sails off into the sunset.

Some reports at the time (jokingly … I think) suggested that frontman Peter Garrett had something against the public servants who used to work for him when he was a federal minister.

He kept them standing in the storms raging over Stage 88 for three hours while the generals talked about whether to cancel the show.

They all just counted 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 and made a decision to go home, leaving the diesel and dust-covered punters so furious their beds were burning.

But every public servant has a short memory and Canberra is once again king of the mountain. Even US forces could not resist the return of the mighty Oils. It’s going to be a bullroarer of a great show!

(Huge apologies to Garrett, Rob Hirst and the rest of the Oils crew for my shameless abuse of their song and album titles. I must have head injuries.)

Smiggle out.

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