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Efficiency and Reform in Government Corporate Functions Through Shared Service Centres: Cross Government

HC 1790, Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Session 2010-12

National Audit Office (NAO)
TSO (The Stationery Office)

In 2004, the Gershon Review recommended that the Government pursue the sharing of services, including human resources, finance, procurement and payroll, to achieve cost savings. 'Efficiency and Reform in Government Corporate Functions Through Shared Service Centres: Cross Government (HC 1790)' examines the initiative for Government departments to share back-office functions and the difficulty in tailoring services to meet the differing needs of individual departments.

Individual departments have been responsible for establishing their own arrangements with eight major shared service centres emerging from the period 2004-11.

The five centres examined by the NAO were expected to cost 0.9 billion to build and operate, but to date they have cost 1.4 billion. Overall performance has been varied and the two centres that are still tracking benefits report a measured net cost of 255 million.

Most departmental customers have not acted as 'intelligent customers' and they will need to build in-house capability with enough business and technical understanding to manage the services and work with the centres to achieve efficiencies.

Software systems used in the centres have added complexity and cost. As the use of the centres has been voluntary, departments have struggled to roll-out shared services fully across all their business units and arm's length bodies.

The Cabinet Office has recently gained approval for a new strategy and business case. The NAO considers the approach to be ambitious, with challenging timescales. The Cabinet Office is actively working with departments on its implementation.

Extent 53 pages ISBN 9780102975451
Size A4 Price £16.00
Format Paperback Published 07 Mar 2012
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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