Australia

Jan 22, 2014

Let them take taxis: what else the Audit Commission can flog off

ACIL Allen Consulting public policy and governance expert Stephen Bartos has some suggestions on what else the federal government should cut (well-fed diplomats in cushy overseas housing, watch out).

The National Commission of Audit is, among other things, considering the privatisation of Commonwealth government assets. Last week Crikey provided a helpful list of businesses the government could potentially sell. Although it was a smaller list than in the days when the Commonwealth owned banks, telecommunications and aviation companies, it still contains possible candidates for a public share offering.

9 comments

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9 thoughts on “Let them take taxis: what else the Audit Commission can flog off

  1. Dogs breakfast

    Sale of assets is quite a different ball game to outsourcing of services/functions. While theoretically much work can be outsourced, the reality is that there are very few examples where outsourcing has achieved either better service or cheaper service, and there are probably no examples where both were achieved.

    In fact, there have been numerous studies on outsourcing and the success rate is appalling, and the horror stories myriad.

    The Howard govt outsourcing of IT was a horrendously expensive debacle. These basic services are almost never done better outside the public service, not because the private sector can’t do them, but due to the characteristic difficulties of providing what are intrinsically in house services by outside companies.

    There are of course some services better outsourced, but they are fewer then readily accepted, and are invariably the simpler non-core roles (basic security functions)

    Much of the outsourcing fad was driven as much by accountants as blind ideology, for some inane reason that a dollar spent on outsourced services appeare in a different part of the budget form ‘salaries and wages’. It was, and remains, a fairly mindless pursuit.

    Just like corporate amalgamations!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. MJPC

    DB, I agree. The IT outsourcing was an absolute disaster, not least for the government employee’s who had to deal with the privcate companies less than desirable service standards.
    As for selling off prime diplomatic real estate, forget it! Where will the Amanda Vanstone’s, Alexander Downer’s etc of this Government get cushy billets if the government flogs them off in a monster garage sale? We are, remember, talking about self interest here.

  3. Shaniq'ua Shardonn'ay

    @MJPC – I’ve moved from Public to Private to Public (but contracting) over the last 20 years and Private outsourcing is a great money making machine for the companies involved but rarely provides better service.

  4. zut alors

    Can anyone cite an example of privatisation which has led to better service or advantages for Australians?

    I recall the halcyon days when a Telecom technician would arrive within 48 hours.

  5. AR

    Would it be possible to sell-off (give away + steak knives more likely) the federal government? The outsourcing is being done directly from the Holt St branch of the mudorc Imperium anyway.

  6. Gavin Moodie

    I also agree with Dogs breakfast, but nonetheless suggest Commonwealth cars as a candidate for outsourcing.

  7. Carbon Footprint

    Yarralumla, The Lodge, Kirribilli- there are three bits of real estate the public struggle to get value for money from. I would also like to see how much is spent on the Anzaac Day celebrations- a black arm band celebration if ever there was one.

  8. Hill Rosemary

    The government should bring employment services back to Centrelink. The private job “service” providers are utterly useless, just waste taxpayers’ money. They’re paid a motza for getting people to sign forms and do their own job searches. Centrelink used to handle the job diaries and could easily instal computers for jobseekers to use – rescue old computers off the council chuckouts like the JSPs have done.

  9. klewso

    re “The Jull Test” :- Wooldridge, Nelson, Howard & Co yellow-paged/out-sourced our doctors from education too – “Patel”.

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