Fórsa has questioned why the Revenue Commissioners don’t use more directly-employed staff to provide IT services after it was revealed that it gave over €33 million to seven IT consultancy firms last year.
Answering a Dáil question from Labour TD Alan Kelly, finance minister Paschal Donohoe said a total of €33,402,436 was spent by Revenue on external IT consultancy in 2017.
The biggest beneficiary was Accenture, which gained over €13 million, followed by Deloitte, which bagged over €11 million. Last month the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) raised questions about the management of a €26.5 million Garda IT contract with Accenture.
Fórsa national secretary Billy Hannigan said the scale and cost of the external involvement in Revenue IT raised questions about why more of the work isn’t done by directly employed staff. “There has to be some scope for replacing contractors with full-time people,” he said.
"Revenue have spent at least €20 million a year on consultants, every year, since 2004. The majority of consultants are working as computer programmers, a role that was previously performed by CO programmers and EO analyst programmers" said Billy.
Two weeks ago we reported that Garda management had given a commitment to recruit staff and build IT capacity in the service as a prelude to reducing reliance on outside contractors. The union has sought meetings on the issue after the pledge was made to the PAC.