Between 2011 and 2018, the federal government outsourced over $11.9 billion in work to IT consultants, management consultants and temporary help contractors. More than the budgets of 5 departments and agencies combined.
Years of unchecked spending on government outsourcing has created a shadow public service of consultants and temporary staff operating alongside the government workforce. The contract between public employees and the federal government is breaking down. Outsourcing means higher cost, lower quality services for Canadians – less transparency, less accountability, and the loss of institutional knowledge and skills.
Moving specialized knowledge and skills out of the public service has created a lack of development and training opportunities inside the public service. Our Career Development and Training Task Force is undertaking member-focused research and will be proposing evidence-based solutions to take to the employer.
The real costs of outsourcing are too high - wasted money, poor hiring practices, eroded capacity and safety concerns. It’s time to put a stop to outsourcing.
Over the course of 2020, PIPSC will release a series of investigative reports unpacking the government’s growing reliance on outsourcing and its true costs.
Government work, traditionally done by public servants, is increasingly being done by external consultants and contractors at a cost that should shock Canadians. The costs skyrocket while important skills and institutional knowledge are moved into a shadow public service. Canadians should be aware of how their money is being spent and the true costs of such short-sightedness.