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In February 1996, Victoria State Government and Accenture signed what came to be known as one of the first significant multi-service comprehensive human resource outsourcing contracts in the world.
Victoria decided to use human resource outsourcing consulting to facilitate the implementation of a shared services HR arrangement for two of its departments—Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and Treasury and Finance (DTF)—as well as for its internal IT operations. In 2001, Victoria and Accenture signed a second contract to expand the scope of the arrangement.
What Our Clients Say About Us"We bounce ideas off its strategic HR leaders before we plan the implementation of a new program. Accenture has a lot of experience to bring to the table; it has become a trusted advisor in this regard."—Laurinda Gardner, Deputy Secretary, Strategic Management Division for the Victoria State Government's Department of Treasury and Finance
"The initial contract was exciting for Accenture and the departments, because we were basically inventing the right solution with very little precedent to draw from," said Maynes. "It was a five-year contract focused on transforming the departments' HR function, which involved transitioning their transaction processing, including HR administration, occupational safety, performance management for non-executive staff and formulation and administration of workplace training programs. We were able to create a state-of-the-art HR system for the departments and outsource it at the same time."
Because the practice was so new, the departments decided to maintain control over a variety of HR services in this first contract, including executive contract and remuneration, policy development and review, maintenance of HR delegations and the coordination of a graduate program.
While this initial contract achieved cost savings in the vicinity of 30 percent, the departments agreed that they needed to seek more from the service provider in the second contract. They were looking for a provider with experience, knowledge of their business operations, commitment to making it work and trustworthiness.
Accenture HR Services—which by 2001 was a trusted partner—was chosen for this new contract as well. The new contract established a shared set of objectives. It introduced the concept of "non-exclusive services;" documented the HR processes, specifying the responsibilities of both the departments and Accenture HR Services; extended the outsourced arrangement to cover more policy and information support; and, introduced a comprehensive performance-management regime including a balanced scorecard and annual satisfaction survey. The end result was a significantly enhanced level of service—one that included employee self service, e-learning and many new processes that the government wasn't looking to invest in and implement on its own at that time.
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