Government outsourcing up as IT staff decline: ABS

IT professional numbers in government employment slipped while outsourcing expenditure increased -- up almost $400 million -- according to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report.

The current report, Government Use of Information Technology, Australia 1999-2000, found ITT outsourcing expenses for the period were $1.2 billion or 27 per cent of the total $4.3 billion ITT expenditure by government organisations when IT employees accounted for only 2 per cent of total employment within government organisations by June 2000.

ITT expenditure accounted for just 5 per cent of total government operating expenditure, according to the report.

The ratio of ITT outsourcing to total ITT operating expenses in 1999-2000 showed little variation between federal, state and territory governments at 29 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. Local government reported a much lower ratio of 15 per cent.

In the 1997-1998 report, expenditure on ITT by government in Australia was $3.3 billion, of which almost a quarter ($795 million) was spent on contract payments to other organisations. Of these contracts, more than two-thirds ($553 million) was for outsourcing ongoing services. Of the contract payments for ITT services 89 per cent went to private sector service providers.

Almost another quarter ($788 million) of total ITT expenditure in 1997-1998 was spent on wages and salaries of in-house ITT employees. Federal departments and agencies had the highest proportion of ITT support personnel (4.6 per cent) compared with 1.5 per cent in state and territory departments and agencies, and 1.4 per cent in local government.

The 1999-2000 report found federal departments and agencies had the highest proportion of IT employees to total employment (4 per cent), compared with 1 per cent in both state and territory and local government departments and agencies.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon