Kevin Minson

Kevin Minson


    Contracting-out process a boon to private sector and Govt

    29/10/1996 12:00 AM

    October 29, 1996


    Works and Services Minister Kevin Minson said today the private sector and the Government were reaping the benefits of the contracting-out process.


    The private sector delivery of building maintenance services was resulting in opportunities for small business and better, cheaper services for Government.


    Mr Minson said local small business would reap $32 million in repair jobs and maintenance projects by the end of 1996-97.


    This compared with a mere $4 million under the former Labor Government in 1990.


    The Minister said the Department of Contract and Management Services (CAMS) last year awarded five facilities management contracts covering about 900 public buildings in the metropolitan area.


    "During 1996-97, about 60,000 repair jobs and maintenance projects worth at least $32 million will be contracted to local small business.


    "More than 90 per cent of these businesses have 10 or less employees."


    Mr Minson said better, cheaper, more responsive services were being delivered, with 95 per cent of customers satisfied and $5 million in savings anticipated.


    "The arrangement is open and accountable," he said.


    "CAMS can scrutinise the contracts between the building facilities managers and their sub-contractors at any time over the life of the contract.


    "The Auditor General can study the CAMS audits.


    "A facilities manager's subsidiary company has to undergo a tougher selection process."


    Mr Minson said building facilities management was a marketable service to governments and the private sector around Australia, which would create even more opportunities for small business.


    "This is in addition to the money from savings which is going back into more work for small business and the extra maintenance this Government has funded to help clear the maintenance backlog on public buildings."


    The Minister said the maintenance backlog created by former cash-strapped Labor Governments was nothing short of scandalous.


    "It has taken millions of dollars across the public sector to begin bringing lapsed maintenance programs up to scratch again," he said.


    "It will take millions more to complete the task."


    Mr Minson said Government agencies and departments had to resort to extraordinary lengths to cut costs.


    "Take the Education Department," he said.


    "Schools' personnel wanting to paint over graffiti were told to only paint out really offensive words or phrases and leave the rest."


    The Minister said Western Australia overall was now reaping the benefits of the Government's contracting-out program and higher maintenance programs.


    Gains included:


    ·       business investment in Western Australia was now 77.1 per cent above its March 1991 trough;


    ·       104,900 jobs had been created; and -


    ·       debt reduction of $1.6 billion between 1993 and 1997 meant taxpayers were saving $228 million in interest payments - money better used for education and health.


    Media contact: Caroline Lacy 222 9595 or pager (016) 981 795