The Federal Government is trying to curtail the use of contractors. 

The Albanese Government has unveiled a fresh set of directives aimed at reducing the reliance on contractors and consultants within the Australian Public Service (APS).

The APS Strategic Commissioning Framework, made public by the Australian Public Service Commission, introduces a strict approach to ensure core government functions are primarily handled by APS employees and only outsourced under specific conditions.

Key tasks, including drafting Cabinet submissions, formulating regulations, leading policy development, and executive agency roles, will be strictly retained within the APS and should not be outsourced.

The framework emphasises knowledge transfer to the APS in cases where external arrangements are necessitated.

Senator Katy Gallagher, Minister for the Public Service, says; “We are committed to rebuilding the capability and expertise of the APS. The previous government outsourced government work extensively while downsizing the public service, leaving departments understaffed”.

“This framework will ensure that from now on, core work will only be done by APS employees. Agency heads will take the lead, determining their core work, setting targets to bring it back in-house, and making their progress publicly available,” she said. 

Assistant Minister for the Public Service, Patrick Gorman, has expressed his pride in the government's efforts to enhance APS capabilities.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has welcomed the new limits on contractors and consultants within the APS, emphasising the need to move away from outsourcing and toward insourcing, which, under the previous government, proved costly to taxpayers and the APS's capacity.

“The CPSU has consistently fought for public sector work to be returned to public sector workers,” said Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary.

“Needless and damaging outsourcing to companies such as PwC, KPMG, and Deloitte occurred under the previous government and came at a great cost to the budget and APS capacity. 

“The government must reinvest all savings back into increasing public service capacity and capability.”

The Strategic Commissioning Framework and a factsheet on implementation will be available on the APSC website.