IT staff at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are prepared to strike over changes that will hand tech work over to the private sector.
Although the Ministry currently runs its own IT service centre, it revealed to The Register that it was no longer sure whether the arrangement was delivering value for money.
MoJ claims that privatising its IT operations is one option it could consider to deliver more cost efficiencies.
As part of the government’s drive to save millions on IT contracts, it is decreasing the number of Departmental service centres from five to eight.
Later that year, IT firm Steria gained control of the Cabinet Office’s finance, procurement and HR systems for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency.
If MoJ were to choose to outsource its service centre, both Steria and Arvato could be given the contract.
However, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has claimed that these firms could take these jobs and move them offshore.
PCS has claimed 47% of its 380 members recently voted, with 93% supporting strike actions.
“We have written to the MoJ to notify them of the ballot result and are asking them to reflect on the clear feeling of their staff. Clearly their response will be an important factor in deciding what happens next,” claimed the Union.
“We hope the result will cause them to pull away from privatisation, if that is what is being planned,” it added.
The Ministry has claimed that it is considering options for the future delivery of back office admin services and is working to ensure taxpayers receive the best value for money.