Independent report corroborates PIPSC concerns on outsourcing

A new report commissioned by Shared Services Canada (SSC) shows that the Institute is right in highlighting the dangers of outsourcing in the federal government.

The report, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs and made public earlier this week, summarizes the results of consultations held in the summer and fall of 2016 with agency employees, their fellow public servants, industry representatives and the Canadian public.

In one of the report’s key findings, SSC employees directly linked the Agency’s well-documented morale problems with the excessive use of external contractors, the lack of internal career advancement opportunities, and staff turnover.

In 2015, a PIPSC survey of CS Group members found that 91% of respondents reported contracted-out positions were never posted internally. That finding – and others – formed part of a report the Institute released in June 2016 titled Programmed to Fail, which argued outsourcing is actually costing the federal money, jobs, morale, accountability and productivity.

The Phoenix pay system fiasco and the stalled federal email transformation initiative are unfortunate, ongoing examples of large multinationals undertaking work best performed internally by the government’s own technical specialists such as CS Group members.

The evidence against outsourcing is in – and mounting. The federal government should pay careful attention to the report’s findings and to the concerns expressed by key stakeholders before undertaking any further projects to modernize its IT infrastructure.