Senator likens DHS outsourcing to South Park

Things are starting to get nasty as a government Senator likens DHS outsourcing to South Park.

Senator Doug Cameron has called on Minister for Human Services Marise Payne to clarify plans for Telstra workers to answer calls from Centrelink and Medicare clients and declared the department’s management of the issue worthy of South Park’s Officer Barbrady.

As we reported earlier this week (Read Here), the department and the telco were working on a deal that would see Telstra employees move into two of its call centres and answer calls from Centrelink and Medicare clients.

But Senator Cameron, the opposition human services spokesman, said it was time for Senator Payne to “come clean” about discussions with Telstra, as “weasel words” would not allay concerns about job security.

“First the department announced to staff there was a contract with Telstra, then there was a ‘proposal’, then they were merely ‘having discussions’,” he said.

“Now in latest reports, in a performance worthy of South Park’s Officer Barbrady, the department says everyone ‘should move along, there’s nothing to see here’.

“Staff providing essential government services need to know their jobs are safe.”

The department has maintained Telstra workers would partner with it to train public servants in “industry best practice” using the telco’s expertise in “contact centre management”.

Department spokesman Hank Jongen said the proposal, if implemented, would not result in a loss of jobs and no work or customer information would be sent offshore.

It will be interesting to see how the issue evolves with a number of a parties offering their opinion.

Article Source: SMH

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