New independent research, published in December 2015, confirms the significant progress made in Ireland in delivering shared services in the Public Service in a short timeframe.
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin T.D., commended the research findings, he said:
“Shared services has been a reform priority for this Government since the publication of the original Public Service Reform Plan in 2011. The findings of this report confirm that the significant progress made and the ambitious, evidence-based approach to shared services compares well internationally. It also confirms that there is still considerable scope for further progress to be made in all sectors of the Public Service in shared services.”
The key findings of the report are that strong Government and senior management support for shared services has ensured good progress, based on sound business cases, across a range of projects. The anticipated headcount reductions and payback periods for the Irish Public Service are in line with international comparators.
The report confirms that delivering shared services is a longer-term endeavour, not a short-term efficiency measure, as it involves the adoption of standardised processes for repeatable transactions, improving performance, reducing duplication of effort and enhancing management information.
The National Shared Services Office (NSSO), within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, is leading on shared services strategy and the implementation of shared services projects within the Civil Service. The Civil Service, Education, Health and Local Government sectors are all advancing shared service strategies tailored to their individual needs.
Looking to the future of shared services, the Minister said:-
“I believe the Government’s commitment to investing in shared services must be maintained in order to realise the full benefit of it.”
The report was commissioned by the NSSO and conducted by Deloitte Consulting. It was circulated to the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy and Public Service Reform for their information and will be shared across the Public Service to inform and increase the levels of understanding of shared services.
The report, ‘An Examination of Shared Services in the Irish Public Service and Internationally,’ was compiled in partnership with the Public Service sectors that have active shared services projects: Education; Health; Local Government and the Civil Service and it is available to download from www.per.gov.ie
Notes to the Editor:
- Shared Services is defined in this report as the consolidation of corporate services into a Shared Services Centre administered by the Public Service, to enable increased standardisation, efficiency, purchasing power, service quality, automation, and control. The move to shared services is beneficial, as well, for allowing organisations to focus retained resources on core activities.
- Since the publication of the 2011 Public Service Reform Plan, four shared services organisations have been established, with more planned. Those established include: PeoplePoint (the HR and pensions administration Shared Service Centre) and the PSSC (the Payroll Shared Service Centre) in the Civil Service; and Health Business Services (for the HSE) and MyPay (the Local Government Payroll and Superannuation Shared Service Centre) in the Public Service.
- The National Shared Services Office (NSSO) is responsible for delivering shared services within the Civil Service and setting standards and implementing government policy for shared services across the Public Service in Ireland. It is currently an administrative office within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, set up as part of the Government’s reform programme.