Date: 1 May 2014 - 30 Apr 2020
Updated: 15 Jan 2021
Type: Whole of government

Contingent labour is defined as a person who works for a buyer (for example, a government agency) but is paid by a supplier (a recruitment agency). The contingent worker is not on the government’s payroll.

The Contingent Workforce Scheme:

  • has the advantage of not ‘locking-up’ a market, with new suppliers being able to register at any time. This gives buyers with immediate access to panels of expert suppliers.
  • allows flexible arrangements, including adding new categories (buyers) and role types (suppliers)
  • reduces the professional indemnity and public liability insurance requirements of suppliers from $20 million to $5 million, other than transport where specific insurances apply.

The scheme makes it easier for all suppliers to do business with government buyers, including improving access by small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to government goods and services procurement and assisting in reducing red tape.

The scheme encourages small and medium businesses to apply by allowing application by category and by region.

Under Procurement Board Direction 2019-04 this scheme is mandatory.

View the scheme's NSW Government Expenditure Report on the Data NSW website.

Key benefits

Benefits for suppliers

  • able to join the scheme at any time through a self-service, online application process
  • able to apply for business opportunities by regions and categories and apply for additional categories if not all categories are awarded to them
  • no longer be required to collect and reimburse the management fee.

Benefits for buyers

  • access to a greater choice of suppliers including regional and small and medium-sized enterprises
  • able to better leverage the available talent pool
  • access a supplier performance management framework which includes satisfaction reviews, invoicing accuracy, response times and system data collection requirements.

Contractor Central cluster contacts

Education or 02 4003 5441

TAFE or 1300 430 838

Stronger Communities

Family and Community Services or 1800 695 135

Justice or 02 8651 1869

Customer Service or 1800 875 100

1800 501 710 or 02 8651 1888

Planning, Industry and Environment

Planning and Environment or 1800 902 568

Industry or 02 4003 5432

Premier and Cabinet or 02 4003 3002

Transport for NSW

Phase 1 only - People & Culture and Corporate Services or 02 4003 5474


NSW Treasury or 02 4003 5403

icare or 02 8651 1965

ACT Government or 02 8651 1949

Sydney Water or 02 4003 5452

Managed service providers (MSPs)

The Contingent Workforce Managed Service Provider contract offers a panel of managed services providers (MSPs).

MSPs source and manage contingent workers from suppliers on the scheme.

MSPs work with suppliers in a vendor-neutral arrangement and transact only via Contractor Central, the whole-of-government Vendor Management System (VMS).

The MSP contract is performance-based and incorporates the following service requirements:

  • functional and process requirements
  • key performance indicators
  • service level agreement
  • reporting
  • account management and service delivery
  • implementation
  • competitive pricing.

In line with the strategic objectives of this contract, MSPs must comply with the below at no additional cost:

  • use the VMS nominated by the principal
  • use of only prequalified suppliers under the scheme
  • cooperation with the CMOs nominated by the principal
  • vendor neutrality.

NSW Government objectives

NSW Government is implementing its contingent workforce strategy to achieve the following objectives:

  • introduce best practice services and systems to drive value
  • integrate contingent workforce with overall workforce planning
  • make government contingent pool(s) the primary candidate source
  • attract increased numbers of skilled candidates to NSW Government
  • enhance procurement processes and systems for more effective and efficient deployment of the contingent workforce
  • increase opportunities for participation by small and medium enterprises by reducing red tape
  • decrease the cost of the contingent workforce.

Four projects have been identified as part of a combined contingent workforce solution to enable delivery of the government's strategic objectives:

  • use of a VMS
  • a panel of MSPs
  • a shared contingent pool and Contractor Manager Organisation (CMO)/Payroll provider panel
  • a list of prequalified suppliers established under the scheme.

This solution is expected to deliver approximately $90 million in both hard and soft savings through efficiency gains in process, control, visibility, compliance, risk management, performance management and the improved quality of candidates presented to customer’s hiring managers.


The services outlined in the contract constitute a standard offering and are priced accordingly.

The onboarding of an MSP will be undertaken by each customer by a separate request for quotation process or by direct appointment under a customer contract.

This gives the customer the ability to specify the level of involvement they require, modify the scope of services, include any specific management or reporting requirements and obtain best pricing for their requirements.

Scheme expenditure report