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Crikey says: Mark Scott falls in line on outsourcing

Kevin Andrews and the Christian pseudo-scientists. How Hockey lost the budget narrative. Spy powers controversy. How much quality journalism could Hywood’s salary fund? The militarisation of American police: it’s happening here, too. Telling Michael Kroger to fuck off. Poll Bludger explains why this week’s polls don’t add up. Circulation nosedives at The Age. And murder, aliens and intrigue: inside the dark world of champion chess.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been talking for some time about outsourcing and streamlining ABC administrative functions in order to save money, and it seems someone has been listening. ABC boss Mark Scott today gave a speech to Queensland University students addressing the issue head on:

There is a strong argument that in an era of scarce funding, the default position should be that unless there is a compelling financial — or importantly, editorial — reason for an activity to remain in-house, or unless it relates to an area of core competence for the ABC, outsourcing must be looked at.

We’re reviewing support activities like property and IT, procurement, HR and finance activities in a robust fashion. Are there activities that we can drop, automate, do differently? We are working with SBS to see if, by working more closely together, we can make backroom savings, while remaining independent editorially.”

These comments are eerily similar to those made by Turnbull, who has also emphasised “back office” savings since commissioning the Lewis review into efficiency at the ABC and SBS in January. It also seems to be a bit of a departure for Scott, who in March talked about ”efficiency exercises” but did not use the O-word.

To stay the same, Scott said today, the ABC must change: “Our ambition must be to spend as much as we can on programs, to reduce what we spend on administration and support functions.”

As Scott began speaking, the final episode of Radio National’s Asia Pacific went to air. Change is already here.

4
  • 1
    dazza
    Posted Friday, 15 August 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I guess ABC and SBS will end up doing a ‘Fairfax”. Cut .. cut .. cut everything so the pay packets of the so called executives will blow out of proportion!

  • 2
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Friday, 15 August 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t that Lewis chappie the man from News Corpse? I suppose there would be no conflict of interest there. Hmmm.

  • 3
    The Pav
    Posted Saturday, 16 August 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Never have been convinced out sourcing saves money. Just improve your management and don’t pay someone a profit margin.

    It is interesting to note that BHP & Rio in WA’s North West mining after vyears of using contractors are now taking those functions BACK In house…I think that says it all

  • 4
    AR
    Posted Sunday, 17 August 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    When has outsourcing/privatisation ever worked, anytime,anwhere, this planet or any other?
    Come on, OneHand, giz a larf with your usual trope.

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