Ovum research director, Kevin Noonan, in a brief analysis of the budget, asks the question: Will shrinking staff numbers create headaches or opportunities for government CIOs?”
According to Noonan, who observes that “twenty-first century government is a technology intensive business,” says that government IT, in contrast to other parts of the federal public service, has already had to deal with a series of cuts, particularly through implementation of Gershon’s review into government IT.
“Government CIOs have already done the hard yards in delivering internal efficiencies. The big challenge for the coming year will be for IT to support a much bigger challenge in delivering agency-wide productivity savings.”
Noonan says that, while neither side of politics can claim in the past to have successfully arrested the growth in public service numbers, the coming financial year will see a reduction in overall staff numbers by 3,071, and this has been compounded by a “further reduction on this year’s headcount estimates to the tune of more than 1,000 staff,” and he adds, “funding cuts announced in November’s minibudget leave government agencies little room to manoeuvre.”
“In spite of the rhetoric from both sides of politics, the recent announcements represent the first real inroads into government staff growth in more than ten years,” Noonan concludes.