Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Guest Author: MSD. WINZ. IT. OMG!

Guest Author: MSD. WINZ. IT. OMG!

– Alan Benton


I wonder who is handling the hiring of staff for the IT side of MSD. I highly suspect it is a private firm, such as Addecco who I know have a concrete and firmly locked up contract for instance at StudyLink, and adminster all their temps and contractors. Some of those staff have been rolled over for years my flatmate tells me, one person he works with had been rolled over for more than 6 years.

That means, to me, there is possibly a whacking great sum of budgeting that is just used as straight out corporate subsidy. This simply means in turn that there is a whacking great some of money that is not and cannot every be put into operational budgets, it’s literally flying out the door in “costs” to have an outside private firm do the work that internal management ought to probably be handling themselves.

My last contract at MOH was handled by an outside firm. I worked out they made just short of $15K off me on one stint there, even though the only work they did was sourcing me, and that was it. Absolutely nothing more. I was interviewed by internal staff, my workload was set by internal staff, my performance was monitored by internal staff and payments came from within the MOH’s system, not the Agency, YET the Agency actually still made money off me every single hour I worked there.

I couldn’t help wondering what would happen if this sort of thing was dropped, and the budget that gets set aside for such “management” using these outside companies actually went into operational matters.

And I was just one of many there at the time who got brought in to help oversee the next iteration of one of one of the systems there … multiply that by more staff and more departments across the Government, and you’re probably looking easily at millions and millions going to these private companies instead of the systems themselves.

And in one of my older roles as mentioned, when staffing was cut, it was still a case of crank out even better and “more efficient” systems but with a steadily diminishing ability to do it properly to start with. It seemed complete madness to demand that sort of thing. Kind of like MSD demanding people get off their butts to work and berating them for not having the ability to cope when they’ve gone and cut the programs that were helping people in the past get OFF the bloody thing in the first place – including one Ms Paula Bennett of all people!!!

I was constantly told that we couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that, didn’t have the money. And yet it never seemed to stop pay rises for the CEO, never seemed to stop splashing out on decor, never seemed to stop demands for the latest and greatest flashing lights and gizmos … but if I as Manager tried arguing for server investment, security investment, it was uphill all the bloody time. Yes, there was capital outlay involved. But it was banging my head against a concrete wall to make them see that if they did right first time, we wouldn’t constantly be mired in patchup jobs, make do workarounds and the threat of chronic system failure dangling above our heads. And I just got very apprehensive when this was happening in the security area. “Can we get a student to do that?”, always looking for the cheapest solution to fix highly complex problems. I’ve nothing against students, but we were laying off some real gun workers. As I said, we just ended up with burnouts and layoffs. Including myself.

I guess being insistant and not afraid to get up the noses of people who had no clue on what they were managing didn’t make me appeal to the Managers, but I happened to view critical infrastructure as a bloody important investment, especially when we would have rural Dr’s going mental because we couldn’t give them the appropriate technology resources to help them get on with their jobs in difficult to reach areas and the like. And I always viewed people who didn’t have a clue about it as the last people to be making the critical decisions on the support thereof of such technology and systems.



= fs =

  1. Coroleen Davis
    3 November 2012 at 3:56 pm

    OMG!!!!!! Alan that is shocking!!!!!!!

    • Alan Benton
      3 November 2012 at 5:32 pm

      The ugly truth often is…

      • Mike Pyefinch
        3 November 2012 at 5:50 pm

        Talking of operational budgets, from my time in a govt dept mail room the sheer volume of pointless, repetitive and badly drafted literature sent out from marketing and publishing departments is astounding. I might also add that the majority of staff in such departments are consultants with little clue of the organisations they’re marketing.

  2. Alan Benton
    3 November 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Mike – got another mate who is the chief accountant for Dept. Corrections (think he still is, at least he was until last year…) and they sent a memo around instructing that certain information (non-sensitive ones that is) would be mailed out hardcopy.

    He questioned that decision purely on the basis that it costed a fair whack to send stuff through the postal system that could just … be emailed!!!!

    This is but one of the many areas where operational money gets wasted for utterly no reason at all…

    • Mike Pyefinch
      3 November 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Any time spent in a govt mailroom would be eye opening to anyone interested in where operational budgets go. The hard copy postal delivery system is not dying – its being kept afloat by government departments

  3. Possum
    3 November 2012 at 7:48 pm

    they have 2 systems now that interlink and the staff hate it, as they have 2 put info in 1 system then in2 other system, bck again etc…no wonder this happened

  4. Debbie Kendrick
    14 November 2012 at 1:50 pm

    It reminded me of the big name IT company that my exhusband hired to revamp his website a couple of years ago. One of their main recommendations was that he use Tag’s to increase traffic to his website. And I’m left wondering… are you just acting stupid to make it seem that you’re doing more work than you are? Or have you (an IT company) just not been on the internet for the last 5+ years? Internet search engines haven’t used tags since 2004 but scan actual site content now (after all, you can tag a website with anything to generate traffic & most people don’t want to have porn sites showing up on their search engine unless it’s what they’re actually searching for.) Sometimes I suspect that a lot of IT workers stop studying their ‘speciality’ as soon as they walk out the university door.

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