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Efficiency and Reform in Government Corporate Functions Through Shared Service Centres
HC 463, Third Report of Session 2012-13 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Efficiency and Reform in Government Corporate Functions Through Shared Service Centres (HC 463)', considers five of the eight shared service centres set up to reduce the cost of administering finance, human resources and procurement services in central government. In previous examinations the Committee found that the Government had not yet realised the potential to save taxpayers' money. The renewed focus on improving shared services is welcomed.
The Committee expects the Cabinet Office to engage constructively with their recommendations to improve. Whilst performing adequately, the centres had cost £1.4 billion to build and operate compared to an expected cost of £0.9 billion. These five centres were also expected to have saved £159 million by the end of 2010-11.? In the event, the Ministry of Justice centre broke-even, the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs centres did not track their total savings, and the Department for Transport and Research Councils UK, have reported a net cost to date of £255 million.
The current strategy will only be effective if the Cabinet Office demonstrates strong leadership. So far it has been left up to individual departments and their arm's length bodies to decide whether they use shared service centres leading to low take-up. Those bodies which have become customers of shared service centres have retained their own processes resulting in over-complicated systems which also undermine the scope for efficiency.
The Cabinet Office should also develop comparable data on the cost and quality of services provided by the shared services centres and should consider whether it can extend its shared services strategy to include other common functions needed by central government departments.
|Format||Paperback||Published||09 Jul 2012|
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