Compared to many other developed economies, the Irish public service in Ireland is a relative late-comer to implementing Shared Services solutions. Shared Services models have been established in the public service in other jurisdictions including the UK, Holland, Germany and the US.
Shared Services arrangements consolidate administrative functions in areas such as Finance, IT and Human Resources (HR) which allows organisations and Governments to focus their resources on core activities leading to administrative efficiency and reduced cost.
The implementation of Shared Services projects is not without risk, but where they are successfully implemented they achieve increased efficiencies and effective service delivery. The Civil Service is well positioned to learn from the experiences elsewhere in both the public and private sectors.
Critical lessons learned are being applied to current Shared Services projects, plans, policies and practices – in particular:
- Clear robust governance arrangements are in place
- Strong engagement by senior management at all stages of a project
- A thorough understanding of baseline performance and costs, as a prerequisite to developing strong business case options
- Monitoring of the benefits post-transition to Shared Services, and
- Standardised processes, systems and reporting