NS: Province eyes outsourcing civil service jobs

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By Andrew Rankin, Metro Halifax

The Corporate Information Systems division and Health Administrative Systems Project are part of the more than $20-million dollar a year SAP program, which the province is currently reviewing.

Both departments’ work would be outsourced to a ‘globally recognized’ IT company looking to set up in Halifax.

[HALIFAX, NS] — The province is considering cutting two government departments and as a result 110 civil service jobs are at stake in Halifax.

Department of Finance spokeswoman Michelle Lucas confirmed the Corporate Information Systems division and Health Administrative Systems Project are part of the more than $20-million dollar a year SAP program, which the province is currently reviewing.

Lucas said the affected employees were informed of the proposed plan Monday.

According to Lucas, both departments’ work would be outsourced to a ‘globally recognized’ IT company looking to set up in Halifax.

“Essentially it would be a different service model,” said Lucas.

A contract has yet to be signed with the unnamed company but Lucas said a final decision should be made in the next two weeks. The name of the company could not be disclosed for confidentiality reasons, she said.

Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union were meeting with potentially affected employees Tuesday and a spokeswoman said the group wasn’t in a position to comment on the situation.

No jobs losses are expected. But the majority of the jobs would be privatized because the company would hire most of the employees and a small number would remain employed with the province.

“In the few weeks we certainly would have more to tell our employees,” said Lucas.

Lucas wouldn’t disclose the financial details of the proposed contract. But she said it would be in the best interest of Nova Scotians.

A review into the provincial government’s IT department has been operating under the codename “Project Kayak.”

Before he resigned from cabinet, former Finance Minister Graham Steele called SAP a “big, expensive system,” but said the province was not considering moving away from it.

Organizations: Department of Finance, Corporate Information Systems division, General Employees Union

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Nova Scotians

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  • Byron Miller
    October 01, 2012 - 14:44

    ...both departments’ work would be outsourced to a ‘globally recognized’ IT company looking to set up in Halifax. So our personal and medical information will be outsourced and available to a foreign company. That alone should be a great concern for the privacy of personal information. There hasn't been a company or dept outsourced yet to the private sector that has not ended up costing more in the long run. Having personal and medical info made available to a global private company is scary. Identity theft is one issue. The private company selling information to other global companies another. Other place have tried with with disastrous results.

  • johnny smoke
    September 28, 2012 - 12:41

    Rolling thunder has begun. After sitting on their hands for three years the N.D.P. have finally awoke and noticed , hey we cannot afford all of these people standing around the water and coffee machines we have 4 or 5 thousand more than what we really need. Our jobs are on the line as well, there is an election looming, all the spare cash has been transferred to Pacific West, the cupboard is bare. Too bad for the N.S.G.E.U. storm troopers I guess that their days in the sun are numbered, just like the N.D.P. they will be replaced by those who put the taxpayers first, not just say that the taxpayers in job one.

  • PJ
    September 28, 2012 - 10:10

    In the States, Virginia outsourced its IT department with disastrous results and continually escalating costs. Their problems continue after several years. Advice from folks on the inside there say it was a terrible idea and once you go that route it is very difficult to undo the damage.