Qld Govt resettles CITEC workers

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Qld Govt resettles CITEC workers

Remaining 430 roles in limbo.

The Queensland Government is redeploying 75 workers from its doomed shared services body CITEC into other tech roles within the state's IT department.

A spokesperson for Queensland IT Minister Ian Walker told iTnews 75 staff — from the Chief Tecbnology Office and "corporate staff" — are being transferred out of CITEC to the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, which was created in mid-2012.

Once the transfers are complete, CITEC will be left with an estimated 430 positions, down from 505 in 2012-13.

The state is preparing to divest CITEC following a recommendation from the Peter Costello-led Commission of Audit report released in April.

In state budget estimates yesterday, Minister Walker and deputy director general Andrew Spina declined to comment on how many of the remaining 430 workers could expect to lose their jobs or be transferred to outsourcers as a result of the planned CITEC divestment. 

When asked to clarify “considerable uncertainty” for the remaining CITEC workforce, Walker said while the government would be provided with more IT services over time, those services would be offered more by the private sector and less by the government. 

“That will be a broad transition. It will not be something that happens overnight and it is not going to be possible to put numbers on that,” he said.

“Clearly, the welfare of our staff will be foremost and discussions with them and their unions will obviously take place as we make that transition. I think my main message is that this is good news for people in the IT game. The government is not going to shut up shop and stop using IT. There will be a lot of IT jobs to provide a lot of services that will be used by government.”

Spina said "no decision" had been made on CITEC numbers.

"As we have pointed out, there has been a government decision to look at divestment for CITEC. Depending on what the outcomes of that review are, then we would obviously be considering what other options there would be and what  would need to occur with staff overall," Spina said.

"The decision is for CITEC to move out of government, but quite how that happens is yet to be determined."

The review of divestment options will be finalised within two months, he said.

Last year the state government cut 80 jobs from CITEC, as well as 140 IT jobs from its Health department and 384 IT contractors.

CITEC had 775 workers in 2010-11. The number dropped to 611 in 2011-12 and to 505 in 2012-13.

The Department of Science, Information Technolology, Innovation and the Arts had 1284 workers in 2012-12, down from 1392 in 2011-12, and is forecasting 1417 workers across the department for 2013-14.

Walker revealed in May the state would adopt all recommendations from the Commission of Audit report, which included a recommendation that the state government discontinue the role of CITEC as a centralised provider of ICT services within government.

CITEC was created in 1965 and is the state’s main technology services provider. It was restructued in 2006 to work solely for the government after initially providing services to both the state government and the private sector.

The Commission of Audit report found there was "no clear logic or rationale to the range of services provided by CITEC". It said the centralised provision of ICT services by an entity such as CITEC has ‘diminished relevance’ in today's IT environment.

In its response to the recommendation, the Government said it would accept the advice but needed to go through additional policy work to consider broader issues. 

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