The University of Newcastle, Australia

A new model for infrastructure management and maintenance services

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Over the last 18 months, our Infrastructure and Facilities Services team has worked to transition to a new model for infrastructure management and maintenance services at UON.

Nat McGregor, Chief Operating Officer

Under the new model a head contractor, Transfield Services, has been appointed to manage and coordinate the provision of infrastructure management and maintenance services across our campuses. Because Transfield Services is an arm of a large global company and because there have been recent concerns expressed about the conduct of the welfare arm of this company, staff might reasonably have questions about this new contract.

The following questions and answers summarise the key aspects of the new arrangements for the information of our staff:

What is the difference between the existing and new model for infrastructure management and maintenance services?

Currently UON has a very fragmented model for infrastructure management and maintenance services, involving 32 separate maintenance suppliers over 14 service areas.

Under the new arrangements, there will be better delivery of services due to a single point of contact and better coordination as well as an extension of services, to include services not currently delivered.

Will Maximo still be used?

Yes. Staff will continue to use the Maximo system as the central way to report a general maintenance issue.

Why is UON making this change?

A more contemporary facilities management and maintenance services model will provide consistency of services and ensure we maximise the use of the University's resources for the delivery of education, research and innovation.

The change will align maintenance activity with our Strategic Asset Management Plan to ensure maintenance is appropriately prioritised.

The new model will:

  • create a single point of contact to increase the efficiency in the delivery of maintenance services and reduce staff time spent on administrative duties
  • ensure consistency of service standards, compliance with our various statutory and work, health and safety obligations

Who is Transfield Services?

Transfield Services is a global multidivisional organisation. Locally (in Newcastle and the Hunter), Transfield Services employs over 2,000 staff who deliver facilities management and maintenance services across NSW for primary and secondary schools, TAFEs and colleges and government departments.

What is UON's position on recent media interest in Transfield Services?

While we recognise that Transfield Services is a large organisation and that UON will only be working with the part of the company that manages education contracts from Newcastle, we note with concern the developments connected to Transfield Services operations at offshore detention centres and we will continue to monitor these developments.

We understand that many staff will hold personal views on current offshore processing arrangements and migration policies.   

How will UON manage the provision of services to ensure benefits are realised?

The new contract provides rigour and surety with a comprehensive suite of KPIs and contractual oversight milestones incorporated within the contract.

There are KPIs that measure the performance of the contract and these are reviewed monthly.  Improvements are driven through the innovation component of the contract which requires the contractor to constantly review and improve on their delivery of services.

Who do I contact if I feel the service is not up to the expected standard?

The IFS team and Transfield Services have undertaken a rigorous transition planning process over the last 3 months to ensure that the service delivery meets the expectations and the requirements of the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

In a large scale contract and with such a diversity of services and estate, the potential exists for issues to arise from time to time.  In the event that issues or concerns arise, staff can raise these in one of several ways:

  • by calling the IFS Customer Service Team on 4921 6500 (M-F 8.00am – 5.00pm)
  • by contacting the dedicated Transfield Services customer feedback email address: UONFeedback@transfieldservices.com

The IFS team will be vigilant in managing this important contract and we welcome feedback from staff as we transition to these new arrangements.

Nat McGregor

Chief Operating Officer