Property staff cop a serve

A private consultant’s review of CSIRO’s Property Services – released under Freedom of Information legislation – has tacitly encouraged the pursuit of an outsourcing agenda, describing the goal as “leading practice.”

  • Management has ‘no clear ownership of strategy’
  • Staff described as ‘largely stagnant’ and ‘overpaid’

Strong criticisms

In a highly critical report, Grosvenor Consulting dammed Property Services management for “no clear ownership of strategy” and “no processes for the development of strategic planning and measurement of strategic goals.”

The report also described the current workforce in critical terms, characterising the majority of employees as “largely stagnant”, “overpaid” and “unlikely to embrace major change well.”

CSIRO Staff Association Lead Organiser Paul Girdler described the portrayal of Property Services workers as “highly unflattering”.

“The Grosvenor report does acknowledge that the qualifications and experience of the Property Services workforce are quite high,” Mr Girdler said.

‘Offensive’

“However the ultimate conclusions reached by the authours of the report– that the Property Services workforces is overpaid, reactive, too old and resistant to change – is misguided and offensive to many of our members,” he said.

“This is the review that CSIRO didn’t want to release. And after reading the report, it’s easy to understand why senior management wanted to keep the Grosvenor Review under wraps,” Mr Girdler said.

“While Grosvenor reached some unflattering conclusions regarding staff and management alike, perhaps of most concern to Staff Association members should be the underlying assumptions about the issue of outsourcing.

Outsourcing fears

“The report – while stopping short of reccomending the privatisation of Property Services -makes the case for outsourcing, stating that “leading practice in the industry is to outsource operational property services,” he said.

“It’s unclear how these conclusions will comfort Property Services already concerned about job security. That job now falls to the Board and CSIRO Corporate,” Mr Girdler said.

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