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Federal government launches in-house consultancy function to reduce outsourcing

Parliament House

In a bid to reduce outsourcing to external consultancies, the Australian federal government has officially launched its in-house consultancy unit with the appointment of Andrew Nipe as Chief Consulting Officer and Joanne Rossiter as Deputy Chief Consulting Officer.

The government has committed $10.9 million in spend over two years to create the unit, officially dubbed the Australian Government Consulting (AGC), for the Australian Public Service (APS).

The AGC will be housed within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and will reportedly slash Australia’s outsourcing spend by $3 million during its first term in office.

Set to deliver at least 15 projects over two years, the AGC is already close to completion on two pilot projects, including:

  • Partnering with the Centre for Australia-India Relations to analyse opportunities for closer collaboration between federal and the state and territory governments on economic engagement with India
  • Partnering with the new Net Zero Economy agency to develop its vision and undertake strategic business planning

“Australian Government Consulting will offer public servants the opportunity to work across departments on projects that have, in the past, been outsourced to external consultancies,” said the Minister for the Public Service, Katy Gallagher.

“Not only will this new function strengthen internal skills and capabilities by bringing important work back into the APS, but it will also save the taxpayer money.”

Before taking up his appointment as Chief Consulting Officer for the AGC, Andrew Nipe most recently served as Victoria’s Chief Data Officer, following a decade of executive leadership roles in education policy. 

He has also worked at McKinsey, Bain & Company and the UK Treasury as a senior policy advisor, while holding a Master of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.

Meanwhile, Joanne Rossiter joins the AGC from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, where she led landmark national skills reform. 

She also has senior experience in management consultancy at Nous and holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Oxford.

The government said initial recruitment for in-house consultants attracted significant external interest, with nearly 1000 applications received across all levels advertised, more than any other Prime Minister and Cabinet recruitment outside graduate intake.

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