Page 1471 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2006

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services per se and the establishment of a shared services centre. These are different concepts involving vastly different arrangements. Attempts by the opposition in particular simply to say that this was tried in 1991 under the Follett government and was a dismal failure and therefore will fail again display a level of ignorance about what it is we are contemplating and what it is we propose to achieve.

We propose to create a shared services centre that brings a whole range of corporate services practitioners together into a shared service, not just a centralised building in which they sit but continue to deliver precisely the same service that they have always delivered to precisely the same cohort of public servants. The nature of the arrangement we propose is dramatically different from that.

What I have said about this has been very straight and unambiguous. This is not code for some sort of conspiracy in relation to the delivery of corporate services within the ACT public service. It is a genuine attempt to keep pace with the times, with modern management theory and with an accepted, successful mode of operations for large institutions—not just public services, but large organisations—to deliver, in the most efficient way, the full range of corporate services that are at the heart of the successful management of any large organisation.

We are keeping pace. We are changing structures. We are looking to the future. We are not cemented in space and time in a process or methodology that perhaps served us well, and perhaps at times not so well, and thinking that we can do it in the future. There are ever-increasing demands on our resources with ever-increasing growth and expectation of services across the board. We are bringing together into a shared services arrangement human resources, finance, information technology, procurement and that range of corporate services which currently is dispersed throughout each of our agencies.

MRS BURKE: I ask a supplementary question. Chief Minister, as you reduce the size of the ACT bureaucracy, can you confirm to this Assembly that additional staff will not be employed as consultants as you implement your restructuring proposals?

MR STANHOPE: I think I responded yesterday to a question in relation to the engagement of some expertise in the area of shared services. I have not taken advice on the nature of their engagement and whether they have been engaged on a consultancy basis. I would imagine that, in relation to the establishment and implementation of a technically difficult and complex new corporate services arrangement, moving from a particular style of service delivery to a shared services arrangement that we are determined to get right—that we must get right—we would engage the most knowledgeable and best expertise that we can to ensure that we successfully achieve the creation of the shared services centre. If that required us to engage, on a time-limited basis, a consultant to assist us in the transition, then we would certainly and most definitely do that.

Emergency Services Authority

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, in question on notice No 1043 your predecessor Minister Hargreaves identified that 61 employees of the Emergency Services Authority had been issued with “corporate dress” at a cost of almost $900 per head for items including shirts, pants and

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