Momentum is gaining in the area of shared services. 2012 was very much a year of building capabilities within Government, developing strategy and obtaining the mandate for implementation of shared service projects across the civil service. The first project was for HR and pensions (PeoplePoint), which went live in March 2013. The next project concerns payroll and is expected to go live in Q4 2013. The project will involve the migration of the payroll function of 53 bodies across 18 locations to three central centres (Killarney, Galway and Tullamore) under a single management and administrative structure. It is expected to achieve annual savings of over €5.5 million when fully operational. A business case for a finance shared services centre is currently being finalised and early work is being done in examining the area of learning and development.
Based on international best practice, it take two years from bring a centre online to becoming fully operational, through a phased implementation approach. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is taking the lead in steering shared services across Government, with the intention of establishing a national shared services office (similar to the national procurement office) in 2014. Hiliary Murphy-Fagan was appointed Shared Services Transformation Agenda Manager in the Reform and Delivery Office. She has the responsibility for:
- scoping, designing, implementing and leading a programme of Shared Services projects across the Public Service between common corporate processes (e.g. HR, payroll, finance, pensions etc);
- leveraging all opportunities in the shared service and e-government models (e.g. common IT approach and organisational design);
- improving customer services, reduce costs and as appropriate, increase revenues;
- enhancing the level of collaboration, coordination and integration between the different shared services to eliminate duplication, waste and unnecessary effort and to drive best practice.
The Ibec Public Contracts Group has engaged with Government on the issue of shared services and exchanged examples of effective public sector shared services and private sector insights on what makes a successful project. The group met with Hiliary Murphy-Fagan in February this year. Over the years, we have also made the argument that there is a proven capability to design, implement and operate world-class shared service operations in Ireland. Also, shared services with outsourcing are inextricably linked, in that a programme of shared services can include an element of outsourcing in order to achieve additional cost savings and efficiencies. An Chéim computer services is an example of a shared service for the Institutes of Technology that has significant outsourced elements.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013