VPS 1st - Secure Job Focus Delivers Consultancy Wake Up Call

Updated 24/08/2021

As strategies to deliver the savings initiatives from the 2020/21 State Budget are mused over by Public Service Departments we thought we'd add some ideas ourselves about how to use VPS 1st, the State Government's new capability build, and the existing workforce better to deliver these savings. 

Recent media reports suggest that some Agencies are reverting to old discredited ways of finding these savings but these reports are not completely accurate as contractors and consultants are being replaced with ongoing secure work and it's early days. 

It has been a long time since a Government agreed to think outside their usual budget square and treat its own staff as an asset and not merely something that’s costed and counted. 

That State Government has implemented a Workforce Transition Plan and CPSU has been successful in agreeing on a new approach to take advantage of the existing PS workforce’s capability.

The primary goal of transition is to facilitate the ongoing employment of staff who may be displaced through organisational change and/or reprioritisation of budgets. 

Just transition arrangements are often discussed by Governments, industry, and unions for private sector business, who need to change or refocus operations.

Expensive redundancy money is saved and redirected into retraining and upskilling of the existing workforce to fill new jobs.

CPSU set about with this Government to find an alternative to the boom and bust nightmare that the former Government’s SGI imposed.

There are savings targets in the last budget and there will be in future budgets but our focus has shifted now, and the new focus is on re-training existing staff to build in house capability to have jobs filled in new funding areas and to get rid of the previous reliance on expensive consultants and contractors.

No one is losing work except the consultants.

The budget investment in services spending is actually increasing as is Victoria's population and demand.

Last year and again this year transition has been utilised to provide a surge workforce to deploy staff to fight bushfires and assist with community recovery, as well as respond within multiple agencies tracing and tackling COVID-19. 

Public Health, CQV, DELWP, FFM, Big Build are current examples.

The Government has said it has no plans for a program of forced redundancies with the goal being that staff with required skills and experience being deployed in other parts of the VPS or other statutory authorities covered by CPSU agreements.

Exciting new training opportunities for VPS employees has just been launched in Government to be conducted by Melbourne Polytechnic and Box Hill Institute

The Jobs and Skills Exchange facilitates this. 

Any reduction of staff in program areas affected is to be managed via transition or attrition or enhanced early retirement with current staff turnover averaging 9% per year.

Consultant Gravy Train 2019/20

$120 million spent in 2019/20 on consultancies (Govt contracting out their thinking)

DHHS - $29,630,986 million

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/202010/Department%20of%20Health%20and%20Human%20Services%20Annual%20Report%202019-20.pdf  P156 onwards

DJPR - $23,472,104.14 million


DJCS - $1.90 million (excluding GST).

For comparison, total expenditure incurred during 2018–19 in relation to these consultancies was $5.75 million (excluding GST).

https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/embridge_cache/emshare/original/public/2020/10/bd/d50905d86/DJCS-Annual-Report-19-20.pdf P195 onwards


https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/about/department/2019-20-additional-information.pdf P32 onwards.

DELWP$2.623 million


DOT$19.170 million


DPC - $13,832,724.40 million

In 2019 -20 there were 48 including one Warren McCann ????

DTF$23 649 569 million spent

$29.3 million approved spend out of $43.763 million described as Commercial and transaction advice (North East Link, Airport Rail Link, West gate Tunnel)


VICPOL - $7 million


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