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Who wants to get shoved over to Serco?

By johnboy - 17 December 2013 29

Government News is running concerns that the Commission of Audit is going to recommend large swathes of the public service be handed over to private sector groups like Serco and G4S:

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has ratcheted up pressure on the Abbott government to resist a push to hive off thousands of federal public service jobs to multinational outsourcers like Serco and G4S – which it claims is likely to be recommended by the forthcoming National Commission of Audit.

The pre-emptive push comes as Treasurer Joe Hockey prepares to hand down the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook statement that is anticipated to reveal an increase in the Budget deficit to around $50 billion.

While it is still not clear what parts of government activity could be potential candidates for outsourcing – other than existing functions like running immigration detention facilities – the prospect of gaining an increased share of public sector work will clearly be appealing to managed services and infrastructure providers.

However the CPSU has firmly signalled that it will count the movement of positions to the private sector towards the overall public sector job loss figure that it intends to hold the government to account for.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Who wants to get shoved over to Serco?
milkman 8:26 pm 17 Dec 13

JC said :

enrique said :

Pause and think about this for a second…

How many times have you heard a phrase along the lines of “if a private company ran that particular service like the government does currently they’d go broke!”

Given the opportunity to take over responsibility for a service, the first thing a private company would do would be to seek out ways of running the service more efficiently. They may even go so far as to improve the customer service experience in order to increase their chances of picking up additional services (or at least keeping the current one).

That alone has me thinking it might be a very good idea to outsource some government services.

There may be other reasons, however, that would make outsourcing a bad idea… things that come to mind are the whole de-valuing of a service, over-zealous cost-cutting, profiteering through exorbitant fees, etc..

What do you folks think?

History here and elsewhere has shown that when you outsource the companies bid low to get the work, then start defaulting on their contract commitments then put their hands out for more money because what they and others bid was not sustainable. Ends up costing more in the long run.

Badly written contracts, ambiguous requirements, poorly defined SLAs and lack of ability to assess tender responses will do that every time.

JC 7:52 pm 17 Dec 13

enrique said :

Pause and think about this for a second…

How many times have you heard a phrase along the lines of “if a private company ran that particular service like the government does currently they’d go broke!”

Given the opportunity to take over responsibility for a service, the first thing a private company would do would be to seek out ways of running the service more efficiently. They may even go so far as to improve the customer service experience in order to increase their chances of picking up additional services (or at least keeping the current one).

That alone has me thinking it might be a very good idea to outsource some government services.

There may be other reasons, however, that would make outsourcing a bad idea… things that come to mind are the whole de-valuing of a service, over-zealous cost-cutting, profiteering through exorbitant fees, etc..

What do you folks think?

History here and elsewhere has shown that when you outsource the companies bid low to get the work, then start defaulting on their contract commitments then put their hands out for more money because what they and others bid was not sustainable. Ends up costing more in the long run.

johnboy 5:57 pm 17 Dec 13

the difference in salary is the Serco management’s whole business model. Want to bet how much they’ll take?

Pork Hunt 5:31 pm 17 Dec 13

Martlark said :

If given the opportunity to leave my desk at work on Friday with a massive redundancy payment, then turn up to the same desk on Monday with the same salary doing the same work, I’d go for it.

Serco won’t pay you the same salary.

Martlark 4:17 pm 17 Dec 13

If given the opportunity to leave my desk at work on Friday with a massive redundancy payment, then turn up to the same desk on Monday with the same salary doing the same work, I’d go for it.

Skidbladnir 4:09 pm 17 Dec 13

My modest proposal is that we go whole hog and outsource Tax Receipts and State Revenues.
Assign the right to collect and retain the proceeds of the tax system to private entities, in exchange for fixed annual revenues for the period of the National Tax Contract. Live within our means that way.
Tax Farming: It worked for the Romans and the French! * (TM)

Out-libtard the IPA at its own game, see who laughs first.

*: until the First Jewish War and the French Revolution respectively, but let’s not speak about those irrelevancies

poetix 3:45 pm 17 Dec 13

#8 mooted

Roundhead89 12:43 pm 17 Dec 13

I remember when I was in the PS in the early ’90s the subject of outsourcing was first muted. I worked in Registry and thought that it would never happen as we handled so many Secret and Top Secret files and documents. Around five years later I had a temp job with the ACT Service and I was told to access a file. “Where’s Registry?” I asked, and I was told “Oh, there’s no stacks here, all the files are over at Brambles Records Management in Kingston”. I couldn’t believe it. I had to visit a corporate office to get a government file about somebody’s lease details.

Were there any checks and balances in place? Were there any regulations about insider trading or leaking of information? Did the ACT government do any audits on the performance of Brambles? Nobody answered me directly, but the answers to all those questions was apparently no.

That wasn’t the end of it. After I left ACT Govco the mail sorting and courier part of what used to be Registry was moved holus bolus over to the Brambles building, and the whole thing was outsourced to Brambles (or Recall as it became) shortly after.

Felix the Cat 12:07 pm 17 Dec 13

johnboy said :

Mostly when Serco takes over an operation, in my observation, they hire a bunch of toothless tattooed desperadoes and bill them out like top flight talent while trousering the difference and hoping nobody notices.

So much like an employment agency.

Thumper 11:58 am 17 Dec 13

johnboy said :

Mostly when Serco takes over an operation, in my observation, they hire a bunch of toothless tattooed desperadoes and bill them out like top flight talent while trousering the difference and hoping nobody notices.

Succinctly and accurately put….

HiddenDragon 11:29 am 17 Dec 13

johnboy said :

Mostly when Serco takes over an operation, in my observation, they hire a bunch of toothless tattooed desperadoes and bill them out like top flight talent while trousering the difference and hoping nobody notices.

Bravo! – now I know what Two Ton Ted from Teddington is doing these days.

HiddenDragon 11:26 am 17 Dec 13

Let’s hope they look hard at how such exercises have gone in the past, and take an honest account of the costs – financial and otherwise – of managing government relationships with outsourced service providers. The other area likely to be given a big push is surely “outsourcing” to the States and Territories – Abbott’s public comments at last week’s COAG gave a very strong hint of this, I thought.

johnboy 10:48 am 17 Dec 13

Mostly when Serco takes over an operation, in my observation, they hire a bunch of toothless tattooed desperadoes and bill them out like top flight talent while trousering the difference and hoping nobody notices.

enrique 10:48 am 17 Dec 13
enrique 10:44 am 17 Dec 13

Pause and think about this for a second…

How many times have you heard a phrase along the lines of “if a private company ran that particular service like the government does currently they’d go broke!”

Given the opportunity to take over responsibility for a service, the first thing a private company would do would be to seek out ways of running the service more efficiently. They may even go so far as to improve the customer service experience in order to increase their chances of picking up additional services (or at least keeping the current one).

That alone has me thinking it might be a very good idea to outsource some government services.

There may be other reasons, however, that would make outsourcing a bad idea… things that come to mind are the whole de-valuing of a service, over-zealous cost-cutting, profiteering through exorbitant fees, etc..

What do you folks think?

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