DIAC culls 60 contractors for permanent staff

Move aims to retain skilled staff

Finance minister Lindsay Tanner (right)

Finance minister Lindsay Tanner (right)

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) cut 60 ICT contractor positions in favour of permanent staff following recommendations in the federal government's recent Gershon Review.

A department spokesman said it will retain “some” contractors among its 1000 IT staff and will replace the axed positions with permanent workers, a move set to shrink IT costs and help retain skilled employees.

The Gershon Review, commissioned last April by Finance and Deregulation Minister Lindsay Tanner and released in October, issued seven recommendations into the government's use IT including a head-count reduction of contractors.

“This is a better use of taxpayers’ money and has ongoing benefits in staff retention, development of the organisation’s IT maturity and corporate knowledge,” the spokesman said in a statement.

“Investing in ongoing positions will help DIAC manage its business-as-usual IT operation more efficiently; it is better management of our skills base and ensures our operations are sustainable.

“We want our IT professionals to build their careers with us and develop and retain their skills base with DIAC. We are committed to well-trained and supported staff,” he said.

The department will allocate additional staff to the Systems for People transformation program, which will consolidate disparate record keeping, reporting and operation processes, and to improving IT security.

The department is advertising IT helpdesk support roles from $53,000 a year and senior technical roles in SAP and Java from $140,000.

Monash University school of business and economics lecturer Dr Tui McKeown said in a previous article contracting is popular for the above-average pay and changing work environments.

Sydney-based IT consultant Joseph Rignanese chose a contracting lifestyle, after being daunted by the prospect of sitting at the same desk for 10 or more years.

“One of the best things about my career is being able to change companies on a regular basis and get exposed to a lot of different areas really quickly,” Rignanese said.

DIAC job applications close January 18.

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