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Employment Services Inquiry reveals a process gone mad

The Greens are calling on the government to change the way future tenders are run on the back of a Senate report which raises serious concerns with the recent Employment Services tender.

"In light of the committees findings the Government must ensure future processes:

  1. capture the additional value provided by community organisations that integrate job search support with other community services for disadvantaged job-seekers; and
  2. check on claims made by tenderers by contacting prospective partners and referees," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Something is seriously wrong with a tender process that, when followed to the letter, can produce a result in which a number of top-rating employment agencies with over a decade of on-the-ground experience delivering jobs with local employers are kicked out with no explanation," she said.

"The committee report points to a yawning gap between the expectations of not-for-profit community services of the Rudd Government's promises of stronger partnerships under its 'social inclusion' policy - and the reality of a government department (DEEWR) moving towards a much narrower model of contract delivery."

The ultimate result was a $4.9 billion tender where the evaluation was based almost entirely on the written applications, and where the claims of potential providers do not seem to have been checked with their proposed partners and referees.

"The process seems to have become much more important than the outcomes, and the amazing work done on the ground linking job search support with other crucial social services have been totally overlooked."

"The consequences for many hard-working and dedicated staff have been devastating. At a time of growing unemployment we cannot afford to be experiencing such disruption and seeing skilled and experienced workers leaving the industry," concluded Senator Siewert.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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