Serco. Seriously?

On Friday last week, the NDIA announced their intention to outsource their contact centre operations to global giant, Serco for the next two years. This decision is truly baffling.

Serco currently operates private prisons and 11 of Australia’s onshore immigration detention centres. To say that Serco is not "values aligned" with the NDIS is a massive understatement. The company has been accused of serious fraud by the UK government and covering up sexual abuse of immigrants in a UK removal centre. Closer to home, Serco Watch, a WA-based civil society group has formed "to monitor and disseminate information about the activities of Serco". Their Facebook page has close to 3,500 members and no shortage of problems to report.

This article by the Guardian, Outsourcing NDIS contact centres to Serco 'an accident waiting to happen' does a fabulous job of summarising the issues with this decision, including quotes from many of the sectors' leaders. The NDIA have repeatedly committed to increased consultation on important decisions, yet the widespread condemnation of this decision makes it very hard to imagine that this decision was made with any input from interested stakeholders.