Outsourcing blunders leave vendors mute

Vendors remain silent on the federal government's IT outsourcing debacle (CW May 22, p1) claiming client confidentiality for their reluctance to confirm or deny whether contract agreements in a number of departments were being met.

IBM GSA, CSC and EDS refused to comment on claims by opposition IT spokesperson, Senator Kate Lundy, that the federal government's outsourcing program has been plagued by budget blowouts and unmet service-level agreements.

Senator Lundy claimed the Department of Health budget had suffered a $6 million blowout as a result of its outsourcing contract, but an IBM GSA spokeswoman was unwilling to confirm or deny the reports.

An EDS spokeswoman said client confidentiality prevented any comment on its five-year outsourcing contract with the Australian Taxation Office, which is the subject of an audit, or its failure to meet a July 1 deadline for the implementation of a new GST system at the Australian Customs Service.

CSC declined to comment on claims it has failed to fulfil about 10 per cent of its service level agreements with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.

This is despite Lundy's allegations that CSC's inability to meet service levels has led to significant financial penalties.

The outsourcing revelations surfaced in Senate estimate committee hearings into the financial outcomes of the program announced in the 1997 budget.

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More about Australian Customs & Border Protection ServiceAustralian Taxation OfficeCSC AustraliaDepartment of HealthDepartment of Immigration and Multicultural AffairsEDS AustraliaGSA GroupIBM AustraliaIBM GSA

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