A major new report into local authorities sharing services has quantified the benefits and feasibility of joining forces to save money.
Commissioned by the LGA and produced by Drummond MacFarlane, it provides detailed analysis of five high-profile shared service arrangements. It is the first to provide a detailed insight into the scale of savings that have been achieved through sharing back office functions like IT and legal, and teaming up to deliver frontline services like waste disposal and road maintenance.
An overall summary report setting out the key findings from the research can be accessed here
The five shared service projects examined in the report are:
This research follows the recent publication of the Commons Public Accounts Committee report into shared services which demonstrated that local authorities are significantly outperforming central government in this area. The LGA plans to share this report with central government departments to encourage the sharing of management teams and services across the public sector to achieve savings.
Alongside the report, a new, Excel based prototype tool has been developed. The aim of this tool is to help local authorities to understand and track the benefits of sharing front and back office services. Our research highlighted that this baseline information is crucial to accurately track the level of savings and performance benefits that can be achieved. The tool can be used for both established shared services and to produce a business case to assist councils with the decision to enter into a new shared service.
This version below is a prototype only and we will seek the views of the sector to enhance the functionality in a way that supports councils. Instructions on how to use the title are embedded within the spreadsheet.
The report has generated plenty of interest in the media. A selection of articles can be found at the following links;
Local Government Chronicle - content available only to subscribers
24 August 2012