The ALP says it would cut government spending on contractors and consultants by $3 billion if it were in government. 

Labor has this week outlined a plan to reduce government spending on contractors and consultants and scrap the public sector jobs cap. 

Shadow Minister for the Public Service Katy Gallagher announced the plan, saying the Coalition government has prevented the public service from delivering for Australians by continually cutting it and eroding internal capability.

“This privatisation of the APS by stealth is not only costing Australian taxpayers more – it is condemning tens of thousands of public sector workers to the risks and stresses of insecure work,” Senator Gallagher said in a statement.

Labor wants to get rid of an APS staffing cap that forces departments and agencies to keep their staffing levels the same as in 2006-07.

The party says it can save $3 billion over the coming four years by reducing outsourcing, and will reinvest $500 million of that money “begin rebalancing and rebuilding the internal capacity and capability of the APS”. 

The plans include 1,080 new frontline jobs at Services Australia, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Last year, a Labor-led Senate committee issued a report on the capability of the Australian Public Service (APS), which said; “It is utterly unacceptable that the government paid close to $1.2 billion in one year to eight private consulting firms in an entirely unaccountable way, for work that arguably should have been completed in-house by the APS”. 

The government is reportedly on track to pass the $1.2 billion figure recorded in 2018/19, currently spending an average of more than $2 million a day on outsourced work since the financial year began.