CSIRO staff have been informed that notification to industry on Group 9 tenders has been frozen indefinitely.
The news is set to send reverberations throughout Australian IT outsourcing companies involved in Federal Government tenders. It also follows repeated denials by the Department of Finance and Administration that the Government's IT outsourcing initiative would be delayed.
Notification to industry is a preliminary stage of the tender process in which industry groups are informed of the approximate size and timetable of the tender.
CSIRO Staff Association representative Pauline Gallagher told ARN CSIRO employees had been informed of the notification delay on Friday after meeting with the Federal Minister of Finance and Administration, John Fahey.
"We were informed that OASITO (Office of Asset Sales and IT Outsourcing) had called a halt to industry notifications," Gallagher said.
Gallagher described the meeting as cordial and useful, however she believes they failed to convince the Minister that their concerns regarding the detrimental effects of the Government's IT outsourcing policies were valid.
"We explained our position and he explained his," Gallagher said. "We gave him a whole set of reasons that it was already damaging the CSIRO."
CSIRO Staff Association is frustrated at the Government's insistence on increased levels of IT outsourcing at CSIRO.
"They don't seem to recognise that we have already outsourced a large portion of our operation," Gallagher said. "Any more could seriously damage our ability to function effectively."
At this stage ARN has not been able to contact OASITO representatives for comment.