The Australian Department of Defence has defended its outsourcing relationship with Kaz, claiming steps have been taken to clear a backlog of help-desk requests that escalated during a “demanding period”.
The department was responding to an article which appeared in Computerworld Australia that exposed serious IT service delivery delays by Kaz, which has a five-year, A$200 million (NZ$225 million) outsourcing deal with the defence department.
Despite remediation efforts by the outsourcer, Kaz has struggled to stem rising call volumes, and a glut of IT support requests, as a result of staff shortages.
As a department spokesperson pointed out, the outsourcing arrangement has been in operation for less than 12 months.
The spokesperson attributed the problems to heightened operational tempo, performance impacts due to an SOE rollout and difficulty retaining ICT staff.
“Performance has improved and we are returning to business as usual.
“Much has been done by the CIO group, defence agencies, Kaz and other industry partners to address the challenges.” Sources claim the network operations centre is understaffed to the tune of 55 operators.
“The security clearance process takes too long so unlearned staff are being allowed to man the service desk,” says the source.
“While Kaz provides an integral part of Defence’s IT support services it is not the sole support agency.”