Auditor Issues "How to Outsource" Manual

The Federal Government is set to release a 'better practice guide' on managing IT outsourcing in the wake of continued budget blowouts and unmet contractual agreements.

Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) auditor-general Patrick Barrett said the guide will help Commonwealth agencies manage IT outsourcing contracts as it is a 'very difficult area'.

He said currently public service staff do not have the skill sets required to achieve more effective outcomes for the program and the 'better practice guide on contractual management' is designed to address this issue.

"We outsourced IT services within our own office and found we didn't have sufficient in-house knowledge, understanding and expertise to properly manage an outsourced contract; it has been a very difficult situation in that we have found it difficult to attract even a business manager in this area to oversee our contractual arrangements," Barrett said.

"It is important for agencies to have the skills necessary to manage the contracts concerned and to manage the tender process to get the performance needed to be accountable to the government and the parliament."

Barrett was speaking at a Senate inquiry into the government's IT outsourcing program which is being heard by the Finance and Public Administration References Committee.

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