Turnbull Signals End To Big Govt. Outsource Deals
The days of the IT industry finding it easy to capture swards of multi-million dollar contracts to organise and run IT systems for Federal Government departments may be over – or at least severely curtailed – if PM Malcolm Turnbull has his way.
The PM chose the ABC’s Q&A program last night to reveal his plans for much of this work – possibly even most of it – to return to internal government agencies, should his government be returned in the July 2 election.
In answer to a question on possible privatisation of Medicare, the PM said: “There has been consideration of revising the Medicare payment system because it is about 30 years out of date … (but) I am saying to all Australians unequivocally that no part of Medicare delivered by government today will be delivered by anyone else in the future.”
Pressed by interlocutor Tony Jones on whether this included a replacement for the payments system that processes $19 billion worth of medical benefits each year, he stressed this would continue to be handled internally and added: “I am very sceptical about the way government services have been outsourced to big systems integrators in the past … the efficiency has often been less in reality than in the promise.
“That’s why I set up the DTO (digital transformation office) within government to be an agency that operates like a start-up … to revive and renew government online services from within government, rather than just signing big contracts with the big systems integrators.”
He added:” I am not an unqualified fan of outsourcing at all … what we have to do is ensure we bring government services into the 21st century – and you don’t do that by pushing them out the door so there is nothing left inside government.”