Sunday, 1 February 2015

ABBOTT'S AUSTRALIA: Is a public service fire sale on its way?

The Canberra Times 20 January 2015:

Tens of thousands more Australian  public service jobs are to be sized-up for potential privatisation as the Abbott government begins work on its "contestability program".
One public sector expert has warned the program is the beginning of a "slow bleed" of the federal bureaucracy that could ultimately see more than 30,000 Commonwealth government jobs lost in the coming years.
The Finance Department has confirmed that  "portfolio stocktakes" are underway with government departments being assessed to see if their work can be farmed-out to either the private sector or the  commonwealth's growing  "shared services" operation.
Departmental bosses will also be ordered to replace their public servants with technology wherever they can and ICON, the high-tech secure communication network linking government departments in Canberra is also being scoped for sale…..
The government has already shown it will not shy away from privatisations with scoping studies for sell-offs of the Australian Mint, Defence Housing Australia, Australian Hearing Services and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission registry already underway.
Medicare, Centrelink and some Veterans Affairs payment services may be taken over by private players and the Finance Department is also looking at the sale of ICON, the point-to-point fibre connection system that links 80 government agencies at 400 sites around Canberra.

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