Jason Laroche, Key Account Director, Local Government, has been featured in Local Government News talking about the adoption of shared services and the areas councils should focus on to ensure this type of agreement delivers the desired savings.
It’s encouraging to see that more authorities are now collaborating to share a range of transactional services which vary little across authority boundaries, such as HR, payroll and revenues and benefits. Almost 500 individual shared services arrangements now exist in the UK, generating savings worth £643 million a year, according to the LGA.
In the piece, Jason explains that this is a drop in the ocean. Most of these projects are small-scale, characterised by authorities sharing a head of service, co-locating, or joining up to share a particular function. They tend to lack the true standardisation of technology and management processes needed to deliver the more significant savings councils need to make.
Jason outlines several areas partnerships need to focus on to make shared services agreements deliver success, including the need for a strong central leadership team, putting clear governance and accountability in place, preventing participants from vetoing involvement at a later stage and investing in training up-front.
He said: “Simply bolting functions together won’t create the efficiencies needed to make a real impact. Genuine shared services agreements require transformational change to deliver significant economies of scale, bringing each authority on to standardised technology, infrastructure and working processes. Its success or failure can depend on the commitment of just one of the participants – deviating from this approach can severely impact the new efficiencies on offer and potentially derail the programme”
You can read the full article here.