What is Shared Services

Shared services is the provision of common corporate services to a number of organisations by an independent service provider that previously were carried out by each organisation separately.

Shared services reduces the duplication of effort by consolidating transactional functions, such as Finance, Payroll, Human Resources, and ICT to enable quicker access to data and improved data quality through increased standardisation, specialisation, automation, and control.


Shared Services in the Irish Public Service

In 2012 the Irish Government gave a mandate to expand and accelerate the use of shared services in the Irish Public Service as a key cross-cutting initiative under the 2011 Public Service Reform Programme.

In the Irish Public Service, there were some examples of service sharing prior to 2011 in the Civil Service (finance and payroll services delivered by the Departments of Finance and Justice), Health sector (Eastern Health Shared Services for Procurement, Finance, ICT and HR), and Education sector (centralised payroll and pension payment processing centre).

The Government’s Public Service Reform Plan in 2011 provided the mandate and the momentum for further shared services initiatives. In March of 2012, the Government issued a mandate for shared services to be progressed in all sectors of the Public Service.

The National Shared Services Office (NSSO) was established in 2014 on an administrative basis within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It is responsible for leading shared service strategy and implementation across the Civil Service and providing guidance and support to other Public Service sectors in progressing their shared service commitments under the Reform Plan.

In July 2015, Government agreed to the drafting of a Bill to establish the NSSO as a statutory Civil Service Office.

See NSSO News for updates on shared services.