What is Shared Services?

Shared Services takes daily operational functions common to all departments, such as payroll, finance and human resources, and transforms them through process standardisation, system consolidation and higher levels of automation and self-service. This allows departments and offices focus on their core business of effective front-line service delivery. Shared Services is modernising the delivery of common business support services in the civil and public service.

Shared Services in the Irish Public Service

Shared Services in the Irish public service involves the consolidation of corporate services into Shared Services administered by the public service, to enable increased standardisation, efficiency, service quality, automation, and control. It is a standard business service model that can be found in use by Governments internationally, including in the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Portugal and in other countries.

Shared Services progress

  • Shared Services is the biggest transformational change the Civil Service has experienced and is a key element of the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan, first published in 2011, to enhance service delivery, decision-making effectiveness and drive better value for money.
  • Significant progress has been made in advancing Shared Services since 2013. The NSSO has been providing HR and pensions administration Shared Services, through its HR Shared Services function, since March 2013. It now has 34,800 customers from 39 Government departments and offices. The Payroll Shared Services function, in operation since December 2013, has 124,500 payees, of which 60,000 are retirees, from 52 public service organisations.
  • In addition, the Financial Management Shared Services project received Government approval, following a Cabinet Meeting in January 2016 to proceed to the next phase. The NSSO’s Finance Shared Services function will begin operating in 2018. A single finance technology platform will replace 31 financial management systems and 31 reporting systems across Government departments and offices. There will be 5 waves of deployment between mid-2018 and 2020, with 48 Public Service Bodies (PSBs) migrating into the NSSO during this period.
  • Shared Services projects are also advancing in the public service, with MyPay in Local Government, HBS in the Health Service and other projects being advanced in Education. The NSSO continues to provide support and guidance to these initiatives within the sectors in relation to areas such as Shared Service project methodology, governance and customer service management.