The establishment on 1 July 2009 of Fair Work Australia (FWA) and the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) clearly indicates the impact of Machinery of Government (MOG) changes on the ICT requirements of newly established agencies.
Even though these are small agencies (likely to sit in Intermedium’s ‘Tier 3’), they have experienced an immediate 181 per cent increase in their ICT contracts relative to the agencies they replaced.
FWA and FWO have contracted $4.21m across a range of ICT categories in the six months since their inception, according to Intermedium’s analysis of their AusTender contracts data.
FWA is part of a new national workplace relations system underpinned by the Labor Government’s Fair Work Act 2009. The new system involves not only the FWA and the FWO but the Fair Work divisions of the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates Court. It replaces the system which operated under the Howard Government’s Workplace Relations Act 1996.
The four agencies replaced are the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), the Australian Industrial Registry, the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) (and its Secretariat) and the Workplace Authority. FWA assumed most of the functions of the AIRC and the Registry on 1 July 2009 and the remaining functions on 1 January 2010.
An analysis of their contracts indicates the majority of expenditure at both the FWA and the FWO was for IT Services. The FWA contracted a total of $1.55m and the FWO $1.1m. The FWA had a higher need for telecommunications equipment and services than the FWO, contracting a total of $0.436m in these two categories.
The two largest contracts were for software licences for a case management system (won by Microsoft) for $616,104 at the FWO and an IT Services contract for SAN server services won by Data #3 for $781,100 at the FWA.
Predecessor agency AIRC had over $18m in ICT contracts over the previous 7 years, representing an average of $2.5m per annum.