Ovum: Government should ditch Gershon contractor cut recommendation

Ovum: Government should ditch Gershon contractor cut recommendation

Recommendation to halve number of Government hired contractors has impacted on work of agencies

The Gershon Review’s recommendation to halve the amount of contractors working for the Federal Government in favour of permanent staff, has impacted on the work of a number of agencies, according to Ovum.

In the latest Australian Public Service Commissioner State of the Service Report 2009-10, nearly 70 per cent of agencies said they were experiencing moderate or severe impact on delivering capabilities in terms of ICT. Around 55 per cent claimed they had difficulty recruiting or retaining ICT staff.

The percentage of contractors in the overall agencies' ICT workforce has dropped to 19 per cent - down from 23 per cent - since last year.

Ovum analyst, Kevin Noonan, said the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) must be factored into the results and the Gershon Review was also partially to blame.

“Contractors are faced with the proposition of a 50 per cent cut, why wouldn’t they want to look for another job?” he said.

The results echoed the figures released by recruitment firm, Peoplebank, in May, with contractors ditching Canberra due to reduced opportunities in the Government sector.

Noonan cited the Reinecke report, which analysed the Gershon review and found the original review was great at harvesting savings but failed to tackle strategic leadership such as getting CIOs, head of government and ministers to address business problems.

“Some of these staffing shortages are more than IT recruitment problems; they are business problems if you can’t deliver capabilities,” he said. “It is important the Government project the image that it is open for business regardless of what type of employment it is looking for: Full-time, part-time or contractors.”

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Tags peoplebankGershon ReviewGlobal Financial Crisis (GFC)Australian Public Service Commissioner State of the Service Report 2009-10

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