Description:Shared services are a credible strategy to achieve Government’s objective of protecting outcomes and not budgets. They are a cornerstone of the public service reform plan (November 2011) and were key recommendations in the Transforming Public Service report and the public service agreements.
Implication(s):Initiating a shared services project can deliver quick-wins in cost savings and improved performance but there is the potential for greater benefits in the medium-term. There has been a renewed emphasis on efficiency in public service delivery with the appointment of Hiliary Murphy-Fagan as Shared Services Transformation Agenda Manager in the Reform and Delivery Office within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. 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); to improve 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.
Work is ongoing 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, which went live in March 2013. The next project concerns payroll and is expected to go live in Q4 2013 or Q1 2014. The project will involve the migration of the payroll function of 53 bodies across 18 locations to three central centres under a single management/administrative structure.
Current Position:The Ibec Public Contracts Group engages 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. There is a proven capability to design, implement and operate world-class shared service operations which already exists in Ireland.
While Government has clearly bought into the concept of shared services for the civil service, a concerted effort is needed to implement shared services at local government level. Budgetary and operational constraints necessitate the streamlining of services and the integration of functions across the 34 city and county councils. In addition to HR, payroll, pensions and ICT, specific local government areas suitable for shared services include waste charges and administration, financial management, local authority charges and administration, and grant management.
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.
Phone: +353 1 605 1642
Last Updated: 02/23/2012