User says money no reason to outsource

Government outsourcing never works when it is simply a bid to save money, a senior US government CIO told a Sydney conference last week.

Speaking at CIO Magazine's third annual conference, State of Connecticut CIO Rock Regan described government outsourcing as a political hotbed".

Detailing his experience of forming a public and private sector outsourcing partnership, Regan said the focus cannot simply be on cost savings.

"The measure should be service, not finance, and there should be an overall government approach," he said.

"Objectives must be clear for the vendor to deliver efficiently; in other words the government has an obligation to the vendor to present a clear understanding of the outcomes." Regan said the state of Connecticut administers an $11 billion budget and has 50,000 employees, and there was strong opposition to outsourcing by both staff and the legislature.

He said there were 186 legislatures, which had to be lobbied individually, and they were all ‘experts'. "Political agendas and philosophical debate were driving wedges through our outsourcing process," Regan said.

"That is why you cannot fail to communicate with stakeholders because opponents won't let the facts get in the way of a good story. But most importantly, the primary reason for outsourcing must not be IT cost savings.

"Stakeholders need to focus on the impact of IT and how it can reduce bricks and mortar and replace it with more efficient service delivery."

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