OTTAWA — One of Canada’s biggest civil service unions says outsourcing of work that could be done by government employees is costing taxpayers billions of dollars, with much of the money spent on sub-par work or failed IT projects.

A report released today by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada says the government spent nearly $12 billion on management consultants, temporary contractors and IT consultants between 2011 and 2018.

The union points to the failed Phoenix pay system as a stark example of how costs can spiral out of control when an outsourced project goes wrong.

That system, which has directly impacted tens of thousands of federal employees by under-paying, over-paying or not paying them at all, was supposed to save taxpayers money after an initial budget of $309 million.

Instead, it is forecast to cost Canadians $2.2 billion by 2023 as the government works to fix the problems it created and build its replacement.

The union’s report says private corporations have learned over the years how to win outsourcing contracts by underbidding, with true costs rising later.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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