'Dalmation Policy' written down in black and white

A secret internal policy to remove 101 ex-Commonwealth Bank IT staff from the EDS payroll is believed to be almost complete, a source has revealed to The Wire.

According to the source, an ex-CBA IT staff member, up to 13 ex-employees of the bank have recently been made redundant as part of EDS's "Dalmatian Policy" to cut 101(hence the name) staff deemed "unsuitable" to work for EDS.

The source said the recent redundancies, which are believed to have occurred in the past several weeks, are the culmination of EDS' original plan to get rid of 101 ex-CBA staff because of cultural clashes.

According to the source, the 101 workers have left EDS either through redundancies or resignations. At the time of the transition, around 40 of the 101 unwanted staff moved to EDS and 60 workers resigned, the source said.

The $5 billion IT outsourcing agreement between EDS and CBA, formed in October 1997, has continually been plagued by reports of cultural problems despite assurances from executives of both companies that the relationship couldn't be better.

As reported in Computerworld June 18, 1999 page 1, Australian ex-CBA IT staffers, now working with EDS, were battling to come to terms with "the American way of doing things", since the signing of the contract.

"They are barking up the wrong tree, I don't know what they are on about," a spokeswoman from EDS said referring to the cultural clashes. The EDS official said that 1115 CBA staff moved across to EDS in October 1997. Since then 278 have resigned and 37 have been made redundant, she said.

"Our voluntary annual attrition rate is 7.7 per cent . . . the industry average according to the Hay Group is 17.7 per cent. "It has been a stunningly successful transition."

Howard Morris, the Commonwealth Bank's CIO, said the redundancies have been in line with EDS's worldwide strategy. "I would refute any cultural clashes," he said.

Both Morris and the EDS spokeswoman denied any knowledge of the Dalmatian Policy, claiming to have "never heard" the term before.

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