Ehammond Wrote:Can I ask those of you who have looked at this issue - has shared services in your authority actually saved money?
I ask because there is this trope that, apparently, there is not a single instance in this country of shared services having delivered the savings that were promised at the beginning of the process.
Did your reviews look at this issue?
I suppose it can be difficult to tell simply by the number of externalities involved - and that probably most savings are realised when arrangements have had an opportunity to bed down.
Cambridgeshire CC and Northamptonshire CC currently share use of ORACLE software and I recently supported a review of a business case to significantly expand these arrangements (its in the library). The group were advised that by upgrading ORACLE together, they would avoid approximately 300K in costs. I know that there have been savings (or strictly speaking, cost avoidance) in the past from this sort of arrangement but don't have the specific figure to hand. However, I imagine it is difficult to identify the net saving in most circumstances as, for example, the salaries of the officers involved would come from mainstream budgets and isolating the cost of their involvement would be hard to quantify.
I think it is also necessary to define 'shared services'. Does, for example, sharing staff count? If so, there are many examples of senior officers being shared between Councils and the NHS, all of which must count as savings that have been delivered (albeit performance should clearly also be considered).