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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 431 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

She said that she has spoken to many people working in the government service at the minute who are against the whole concept of contracting out. Of course they are, because they are trying to maintain and to develop their empires. That is something that has happened in the Public Service since the year dot, and it will continue to happen. No-one wants to give away their empire, Ms Tucker, notwithstanding how much that empire might be costing the taxpayer, and notwithstanding that that empire is not working efficiently.

Mention was made of security. The Government is concerned about security and has taken that into account as well. You also mentioned special needs. The special needs will be catered for as well because, in the interagency situation, an agency that needs to have their expertise kept within that agency will be able to do that as well. Really, we are not giving this a chance to work. We have read a story in the newspaper and we have heard some internal gossip from all sorts of people and blown it out of all proportion.

Mr Moore's comments perhaps were the most pertinent. He obviously had a genuine concern to make sure that not one particular company, one of the huge companies, would be in a monopoly position; that we make sure that the local IT industry - which we are very good at, by the way, and I stress that again - has a say in what goes on. I am assured by the work that has been done on this that that is going to occur. We have had a look at the way it is done in South Australia. We do not believe that that is the way we should do it here. We have had a look at the way it was done in Victoria. We do not agree with Mr Kennett's way of doing things in this area either, because it has to be idiosyncratic to the needs of the ACT government service.

We are spending $53m of taxpayers' money. We know that we have computers that do not talk to one another. We know that we have telephones that are not compatible with each other. That is not the way to do business. That is not the way to spend taxpayers' money properly. The bottom line is that we have to get value for money and at the same time have an efficient IT industry in the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: The discussion is concluded.

MS TUCKER: Under standing order 47, may I correct something Mr De Domenico said. Mr De Domenico, I do not recall that I did say that they were against the concept, but if that was your understanding I would like to clarify it. They have concern that there has not been enough work done on modelling the possible negative impacts of this work. You said that I said that government workers were absolutely against contracting out, and I would like to clarify it. I did not say that.

Mr De Domenico: No; I said that you were against contracting out.

MS TUCKER: No; you suggested that I had talked to workers in the public sector who were against it, and you said, "Of course they are, because they do not want to see their empires diminished". I did not say that they were against it; they said that they had concerns about the way you were going hell for leather into contracting out, without modelling the possible negative impacts.

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