Efficient Government: The drive for savings to put the Budget back in Black

An area where Bush-Consulting assists clients is in the development of thought leadership and the creation of a unique point-of-view that is both relevant and targeted.

The theme of efficient government and the Commonwealth and State Government's continued interest in pursuing efficiencies through Shared Corporate Services in particular, led to the research and creation of an in-depth thought leadership whitepaper. Some of the high level overview points are included below with the detail remaining client confidential.

The Federal Government's Gershon Review of the Australian Government's Use of Information and Communication Technology recommended:

"...that moves towards back office shared services between agencies should only be undertaken on a very carefully selected and controlled basis. In the meantime, as a first step towards a wider adoption of these arrangements, I consider it essential that all agencies quantify both the back office service levels and the associated costs of their current provision arrangements... This will help create a stronger foundation on which to assess the additional benefits that can be obtained from moving to a shared service in the future."

Federal Agencies are currently in the process of assessing their own capabilities and costs in preparation for possible clustering of agencies into Shared Corporate Services.

Shared Corporate Services: the concept

Governments in Australia are under constant pressure to drive efficiencies and savings, deliver improved services and better government. Federally, there are the ICT BAU cuts and another round of efficiency dividends. Shared Corporate Services usually involves aggregating across agency core back office functions such as finance, accounts, payroll, HR, access management, procurement from within corporate services thereby attainting efficiencies by commoditising the offering and also improving service levels. Another important benefit achieved by Shared Corporate Services is the transparency on actual running costs and the financial and expense oversight that is gained.

How to make Government Shared Corporate Services work?

We have identified that in order for Shared Corporate Services in government to be a success the following three critical paths must be understood and accounted for:

1. Government needs to reform itself prior to adopting Shared Corporate Services;
2. The business case must take into account the true costs of rolling-in services; and
3. Risk and stakeholder management strategies are crucial.

There is much detail and analysis behind each of the three points noted above based on the deep experience our client ASG has gained in developing strategy and implementing shared corporate services around Australia. If you would like to discuss their approach and methodology, please contact Simon Bush at Bush-Consulting and he would be delighted to put you in touch.