MYEFO Heralds Major Change for Public Sector

The release of the MYEFO late last year came with the announcement of the axing of 200 government agencies.

In the proposed measures, 138 bodies are expected to be abolished and 26 to be consolidated, the majority of which include panels and committees. These cuts follow on from previous cuts in May 2014 of 76 agencies.

Prominent agencies to go include the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) which will be consolidated into the Attorney-General’s Department, with some job losses expected. Additionally, 15 other government agencies will be amalgamated into portfolio departments and a further 5 government bodies will have their back office functions provided by a single department. A list of all the government agencies to be affected is available in the link provided below.

Staff redundancies of approximately 16,500 staff are expected, a move that will bring staff numbers across the public sector back to the level they were at in 2007. Priority areas of review for the government include the Department of Education and the Department of Health. In the Department of Education, 110 employees are expected to lose their jobs with a job swap program being offered. To ensure the accuracy of our data at A-ZGovBIZ we will be closely monitoring these changes and update our database as they happen.

Straight razor

The Abbott government has taken the razor to the public sector once again.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. Smart government suppliers will look for the silver lining. Potential opportunities for business include $14 million to be spent on a new Australian Taxation Office to be built in Gosford which is expected to be completed by 2017. While this is expected to create an additional 1000 jobs in the area, we expect that this will generate business for businesses in the construction industry, office furniture wholesalers, and provision of services for example IT support, phone and electricity providers.

A further $200 million is expected to be spent on the Department of Parliamentary Services and Australia Federal Police to upgrade security at Parliament House. Businesses within the security industry can benefit from this by marketing their security products and services to these departments in particular areas such as closed-circuit television system, parliamentary access systems and security personnel which have been identified as priority areas by the government.

The new contestability tests will require departments to scrutinize whether certain functions would be more appropriately outsourced. This will generate savings for the government and more importantly future opportunities for businesses that specialise in providing outsourced functions to businesses.

One such department function is the Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) which is used between 400 sites and more than 80 government agencies. The decision to sell ICON off to a third party provider, opens the floor for organisations primed to take over and provide communications function of the government. Furthermore with the changes to AGS, it is speculated that this would lead to more contracting of private law firms.

List of changes to government agencies: here

Miriam Chaudhry is a Psychology graduate and is currently studying Accounting at Macquarie University. She has worked in a number of customer service and sales positions. She is currently using her analytic skills at A-ZGovBIZ as a public sector analyst.

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