Public services are constantly criticised. I know this – I’ve done some of the criticising myself. During the boom, public services grew exponentially. By 2008, some 320,000 were employed in the Public Service and by 2009 the gross exchequer pay bill peaked at over €17.5bn. Since this Government took office, we have delivered reform after reform of the public service. Among these: reducing public sector numbers, decreasing the public sector pay and pensions bill, appointing a Chief Procurement Officer, enacting the Ombudsman Amendment Act 2012, radically altering sick leave provisions and consolidating quangos.
As part of our Reform Agenda in November 2011, I announced my intention to implement a radical restructuring of how the Public Service does business by establishing shared service models for a number of areas including Human Resources (HR). So what is the point of PeoplePoint?
The point to PeoplePoint is not only what it adds – it provide the impetus to transform HR delivery across the entire Civil Service – but also what it takes away: PeoplePoint saves money, PeoplePoint saves time, Peoplepoint saves human resources. That’s the point to PeoplePoint.
It currently costs the Civil Service €85.6m to deliver HR services to 40 Government Departments and Offices. Post 2014, when all 40 have transitioned to PeoplePoint, we estimate that the annual cost of HR services for the Civil Service will be reduced by a significant €12.5m per annum. There is some 870 staff currently working in Human Resources. When fully implemented PeoplePoint will have approximately 330 staff working in Clonskeagh and the number of staff engaged in transactional HR process across the system will be reduced by 17%.
In addition to the savings to be achieved, this shared service centre will enable and drive continuing organisational change and ongoing delivery of frontline services to the citizen.
The benefits of implementing a shared service arrangement include:
- Reduced cost of HR service delivery whilst maintaining quality;
- Greater efficiency in HR service delivery through standardising and optimising transactional HR processes into one Shared Service Centre;
- Increased focus on ensuring consistent high quality customer service; and
- Fostering of strategic HR capability which will drive capacity and capability building within organisations
This centre is the first of a number of Shared Services projects underway in the Civil Service and highlights our commitment to meaningful and sustainable change with a strong focus on customer service, working in new ways, driving efficiencies in HR processes and utilising enabling technologies. It provides a real opportunity to drive workforce reforms that will support the civil service into the future.
We’ll keep you up to date on our other Shared Services through our blog, twitter feed and website.
Brendan Howlin, TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform
Group of People Image courtesy of jscreationzs and FreeDigitalPhotos.net