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News Media Releases University report slams Barnett Government’s outsourcing plans
University report slams Barnett Government’s outsourcing plans
Friday, 20 May 2011 13:00

The Barnett Government’s ongoing effort to handball responsibility for the delivery of key public sector services to community groups will undermine the quality of service delivery, according to a major new report.

Prepared by Curtin Graduate School of Business Chair Professor Al Rainnie, Putting the Public First? examines the implications of the Barnett Government’s Economic Audit Committee Report, which was released in 2009 and has driven a number of the government’s public sector changes.

Professor Rainnie concludes that the outsourcing of public service delivery to the community sector could be very damaging for the quality of service provision, for the people working for the service providers and for the members of the WA community who rely on those services.

“The Barnett Government’s Economic Audit Committee report outlined a vision for Western Australia’s public sector as a facilitator, rather than a provider, of services, with a stated desire to outsource all services,” Professor Rainnie said.

“This would be bad news for workers in the public sector, with a shift to the community sector likely to put downward pressure on wages and conditions.”

“It would also be bad news for the culture of our community organisations, who would go from being community focused advocates to organisations instead focused on winning and delivering contracts.”

With community groups having to cut costs to win and deliver on contracts, this will put more and more pressure on staff who are already paid significantly less than workers in the public and private sectors.  This will make it increasingly difficult for community groups to attract quality staff, particularly during the mining boom, and services will suffer as a result.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said the Barnett Government’s fascination with failed UK policies needed to end. “This approach has been tried in the United Kingdom and it has failed.  It is very disappointing to see the Western Australian Government continuing down this path in the 2011/12 budget, particularly given Western Australia’s wealth and ability to fund quality public services.”

“WA is a wealthy State and the Barnett Government can afford to provide us with quality public services.  In releasing this report today, we call upon the Premier to stop his outsourcing and privatisation plans and ensure that all Western Australians have access to quality services.”

pdf EAC_Review.pdf

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