Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today that independent consultant reports and Treasury advice had raised doubts about the achievability of budget savings claimed by the Rann Government for its proposed Shared Services Centre.
Mr. Lucas said the Shared Services Centre was the centrepiece of the government’s proposed savings programme and is proposed to centralise ‘back office’ functions, such as payroll, finance, human resources and information technology.
Leaked information from senior sources in Treasury and the Department of Administrative and Information Services (DAIS) has confirmed that independent consultants during the period 2003-05 estimated the possible level of savings to be significantly less than the $60 million per year claim by the Rann Government.
During 2003 and 2004, hundred of thousands of dollars were paid to consultants, Ernst & Young, (other consultants such as Deloittes also did some work), to consider the business case for a Shared Services Centre.
“These Treasury and DAIS sources have told the Opposition that there are numerous memos, emails and meeting notes within DAIS and Treasury, highlighting that Treasury had significant concerns about the claimed level of savings and the prospects of those savings being able to be ‘captured’ as savings to the budget,” Mr. Lucas said.
“The Liberal Party will be lodging FOI requests immediately for copies of these documents,” he said.
The Rann Government’s announcement of a Shared Services Centre is completely at odds with one of the first decisions taken by the Rann Government: to stop a Shared Services Unit in Treasury from providing payroll and related services to the Premier’s Department!
“Mr. Foley, in today’s Estimates Committee, was unable to give an explanation as to the reasons for this inconsistent decision.
“There are clearly now significant doubts about the accuracy of claimed savings of this key aspect of the recently announced budget,” he said.