The CIO of the federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Glen Archer, has admitted there are fewer places for IT contractors in Canberra, but stopped short of saying there in a new skills crisis in the nation's capital.
Last week recruitment firm Peoplebank claimed IT contractors are fleeing Canberra causing a new skills drought.
At an address at the CeBIT conference in Sydney this week, Archer spoke about the level of IT staff in the captial and said there is funding to boost the number of permanent roles.
“Some media coverage has been misleading. The aim of the government is to increase the number of in-house staff and reduce the dependence on contractors over the next three years,” Archer said.
Archer indicated that the government was looking to build up its IT capabilities internally and is confident there is enough funding for the IT sector in the latest budget.
“Agencies are looking to decrease their reliance on contractors in the Canberra area. More than $1 billion was allocated to ICT in the last budget,” he said.
Archer also gave an update on the government’s Web 2.0 strategy and indicated how it is starting to alter government transactions.
“Government 2.0 has set a new direction in the way that people interact with government. There are numerous examples of where we're using Web 2.0 to create a more participatory and interactive government.”
Archer described how the Australian Public Service has adopted aspects of Web 2.0 governance in its latest guideline updates and said government blogs are now open to greater criticism because comments are published immediatley.