Improving corporate functions using shared services

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1 Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services REPORT BY THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL HC 9 Sessio November 2007

2 The Natioal Audit Office scrutiises public spedig o behalf of Parliamet. The Comptroller ad Auditor Geeral, Sir Joh Bour, is a Officer of the House of Commos. He is the head of the Natioal Audit Office, which employs some 850 staff. He, ad the Natioal Audit Office, are totally idepedet of Govermet. He certifies the accouts of all Govermet departmets ad a wide rage of other public sector bodies; ad he has statutory authority to report to Parliamet o the ecoomy, efficiecy ad effectiveess with which departmets ad other bodies have used their resources. Our work saves the taxpayer millios of pouds every year. At least 8 for every 1 spet ruig the Office.

3 Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services LONDON: The Statioery Office Ordered by the House of Commos to be prited o 26 November 2007 REPORT BY THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL HC 9 Sessio November 2007

4 cotets Key Facts 4 summary 7 This report has bee prepared uder Sectio 6 of the Natioal Audit Act 1983 for presetatio to the House of Commos i accordace with Sectio 9 of the Act. Joh Bour Comptroller ad Auditor Geeral Natioal Audit Office 16 November 2007 The Natioal Audit Office study team cosisted of: Keith Davis, Raymod Fawcett ad Paul Dodimead ad was supported by our strategic parter, KPMG Part ONE Shared services have great potetial 12 for the public sector Efficiet ad effective corporate services are 12 vital i deliverig public services Shared services ca save moey ad 12 improve service quality Shared services are relatively ew to the 14 public sector Shared services ad streamlied processes 14 are closely liked Our report assesses progress i implemetig 15 shared services This report ca be foud o the Natioal Audit Office web site at For further iformatio about the Natioal Audit Office please cotact: Natioal Audit Office Press Office Buckigham Palace Road Victoria Lodo SW1W 9SP Tel: Natioal Audit Office 2007

5 Part TWO NHS ad HM Priso Service shared 16 services are o course to deliver savigs but have experieced problems with customer satisfactio Differet mechaisms ca work for 16 shared services Shared services are begiig to deliver 17 cost savigs There have bee improvemets i customer 20 satisfactio after iitial difficulties Shared services are begiig to brig 22 other beefits Performace lags behid leadig practice 23 comparators but there is a focus o cotiuous improvemet Part THREE Progress is variable across govermet 26 Part four The Cabiet Office has promoted 32 shared services but lacks a clear overview of the beefits beig secured by departmets The Cabiet Office has raised the profile of 32 shared services across govermet The Cabiet Office has idetified barriers to 33 shared services ad started to tackle them A lack of iformatio o curret ad expected 35 performace makes it difficult for the Cabiet Office to demostrate the extet of beefits beig derived from shared services AppediX 1 Methodology 36 Glossary 38 The Cabiet Office has divided govermet 26 ito sectors to provide focus for shared services Approaches to sharig differ across sectors 26 Shared services are progressig 28 across govermet Reported savigs are relatively small 28 Photograph courtesy of Alamy.com

6 key facts The Cabiet Office has estimated that cetral ad local govermet speds 7 billio a year o fiace ad huma resources services. 1 It believes there is scope to save 20 per cet from this total by greater sharig of corporate services. A focus o challegig the way that corporate services are delivered i order to ehace frot lie operatios has bee commo i the private sector for some time but is oly startig to emerge i the public sector. There are various approaches to improvig the efficiecy ad effectiveess of corporate fuctios. These iclude streamliig processes, outsourcig ad sharig services. Experiece elsewhere, icludig i two case studies examied i this report, shows that implemetig shared services ca reduce costs by up to 20 per cet or more depedet o what a orgaisatio has already doe to improve efficiecy ad what further optios are available to it. Sir Peter Gersho s review of public sector efficiecy idetified beefits from shared services, but departmets efficiecy targets do ot iclude savigs specifically from shared corporate services. 2 As well as improvig efficiecy, the Cabiet Office believes shared corporate services ca create a better workig eviromet for staff ad a better service for customers. Well-maaged corporate fuctios provide essetial support to frot lie operatios ad to services that public bodies provide. Public sector orgaisatios are deliverig corporate shared services i a variety of ways. The Cabiet Office has ot prescribed ay particular models, for example o paymet mechaisms or o whether participatio is volutary or madatory i ay scheme that is made available. Shared services i the NHS ad the Priso Service are deliverig savigs ad are successfully tacklig early problems with customer satisfactio. There are o accurate figures for savigs from shared services across the whole of cetral govermet. By March 2007, departmets had reported 315 millio of efficiecies overall i the admiistratio of fiace ad huma resource fuctios but these savigs came from other trasformatio programmes as well as from shared services Releasig resources for the frotlie: Idepedet Review of Public Sector Efficiecy, Sir Peter Gersho, July Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

7 KEY FACTS Public sector orgaisatios are deliverig corporate shared services i a variety of ways Brigig dispersed corporate services together Joiig together with other public sector orgaisatios A large lead departmet providig services to its sposored bodies Sellig services to other orgaisatios Joit veture with a parter Fully outsourced HM Priso Service delivers fiace ad accoutig, accouts payable ad huma resources services to all its establishmets from a sigle locatio. HM Treasury, the Office of Govermet Commerce ad the Debt Maagemet Office have a shared service cetre deliverig fiace ad accoutig support to the three orgaisatios. The Departmet for Eviromet, Food ad Rural Affairs provides fiace ad accoutig, huma resources, procuremet ad facilities maagemet services to may of its sposored bodies. The Departmet for Work ad Pesios has begu the process of providig huma resources ad fiace services to the Cabiet Office. The Departmet of Health ad Xasa PLC 3 formed a joit veture to deliver fiace, accoutig ad other back office services to NHS bodies ad other public sector bodies. Most departmets have outsourced their IT provisio but few have take this approach for fiace ad huma resource services. 3 O 17 October 2007, Xasa PLC was acquired by Groupe Steria SCA. Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services 5

8 KEY FACTS Shared corporate services ca brig cost savigs ad better service Traditioal Orgaisatio of Corporate Services Public Body Corporate Service divisios provide services to frot lie divisios Fiace Huma Resources Frot Lie Services Characteristics of service provisio Public Body Fiace Huma Resources Frot Lie Services Public bodies provide services to the public Public Limited scope for comparative maagemet iformatio Silo based Potetial duplicatio of effort ad resources Public Body Fiace Huma Resources Frot Lie Services Shared Corporate Services Public Body Frot Lie Services Shared Services Provider Public bodies are customers of the Shared Services provider Public Body Frot Lie Services Public bodies provide services to the public Public Public Body Frot Lie Services Characteristics of best practice service provisio Cost savigs Customer service ethos Better performace compariso 6 Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

9 Summary 1 Corporate services provide vital support to the delivery of effective ad efficiet public services that meet citizes eeds. They iclude activities such as fiace ad accoutig, huma resources, procuremet, iformatio techology, facilities maagemet ad estates maagemet. These activities are usually ot highly visible at the frot lie, but they have a major impact o the quality of public services. Corporate services are ofte least visible to the citize whe they are at their most effective. 2 Mechaisms to improve the efficiecy ad effectiveess of corporate services iclude more streamlied processes, better performace data, dissemiatio ad adoptio of best practice, ad outsourcig, i additio to shared services, which form the subject of this report. Shared services ivolve the combiatio of activities across differet parts of a orgaisatio, or across separate orgaisatios, i order to brig efficiecy savigs ad improve service. They require a customer focus ad they give orgaisatios the opportuity to provide services to other orgaisatios. They do ot represet a ed i themselves, but they provide a meas, alogside other mechaisms, to greater efficiecy ad effectiveess. 3 The Cabiet Office estimates there is scope to save 1.4 billio from aual expediture o fiace ad huma resources fuctios, ad to improve service quality, by implemetig shared services across the public sector. The figure is ot a target for departmets ad it does ot form part of the 21 billio Efficiecy Programme target. It represets 20 per cet savigs o a estimated aual expediture of 7 billio, which is i lie with what other orgaisatios, maily i the private sector, have already achieved. There is a wide rage of implemetatio optios for shared services, from provisio that is i-house or shared amog related public bodies to fully outsourced arragemets. 4 Shared services ad streamlied processes are closely liked. Some orgaisatios use a move to shared services as a mechaism to drive the streamliig of processes. The risk is that iefficiecies ca the become etreched. Other orgaisatios fid it sesible to streamlie their processes before movig to shared services. A combied approach, adopted for example by NHS Shared Busiess Services, is to streamlie as part of the process of migratio to shared services. 5 We decided to report o shared services ow because the trasitio from the 2004 Spedig Review to the 2007 Comprehesive Spedig Review 4 is a critical poit i the developmet of shared services. Our report focuses maily o fiace ad huma resources, which are the more developed shared service areas i the public sector. Shared services are progressig across govermet but reported savigs to date are relatively small 6 Cetral govermet as a whole made slow progress iitially i takig shared services forward after Sir Peter Gersho idetified their potetial i Mometum has picked up over the last year ad there are various programmes uder way, may ot yet sufficietly established to start deliverig savigs. 4 The Comprehesive Spedig Review is a log-term ad fudametal assessmet of govermet expediture, icludig the idetificatio of departmetal spedig allocatios for years , ad Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services 7

10 SUMMARY 7 The Cabiet Office has divided govermet ito sectors i order to provide focus i developig shared services. The sectors have published plas for shared services. Most sectors ow have some level of operatioal shared services. A large umber of local arragemets domiate some sectors. I other sectors the emergig patter is of a sigle shared services cetre beig steadily exteded to cover more bodies withi the sector. The least developed sector is the cetral govermet sector of small departmets which icludes, for example, the Departmet for Culture, Media ad Sport ad the Foreig ad Commowealth Office. 8 At March 2007, departmets had reported savigs across all corporate service fuctios of 1 billio, of which 315 millio relates to fiace ad huma resources. Some elemet of this has bee achieved through shared services but it is ot possible to determie how much because i may cases shared services form part of broader corporate services trasformatio programmes. The savigs reported to date are relatively small ad suggest that there is substatial utapped potetial for securig savigs through shared services ad other meas. The Cabiet Office has promoted shared services but lacks a clear overview of the beefits beig secured by departmets 9 The Cabiet Office promotes shared services across govermet. The Head of the Home Civil Service puts shared services o the ageda of the Civil Service Steerig Board whe decisios eed to be take across govermet ad he has writte to all Permaet Secretaries to emphasise the eed to move forward o shared services. The Shared Services Team has played a key role i promotig the developmet of shared services across govermet by workig with OGCbuyig.solutios to eable some software liceces to be trasferred cost effectively across govermet, providig a iteral cosultacy service for govermet, buildig a crossgovermet etwork of shared services professioals, idetifyig ad tacklig barriers to shared services ad allocatig cetral govermet bodies to sectors to provide focus. The Cabiet Office does ot have powers to force departmets to adopt shared services because accoutability for geeratig savigs through measures like shared services rests with departmets Accoutig Officers, there beig o separate Accoutig Officer for shared services. The Cabiet Office has ot prescribed ay particular models, for example o paymet mechaisms or o whether participatio is volutary or madatory i ay scheme that is made available. 10 The Cabiet Office Shared Services Team has systematically idetified a rage of barriers to shared services i govermet ad has successfully tackled some of them. The most sigificat barriers cocer VAT ad issues aroud buyig ad sellig services. Uder fudametal VAT rules reflected i EU agreemets, buyig services rather tha providig them i-house may icur a VAT cost that ca reduce the attractio of shared services. This is ot a issue for govermet departmets ad local authorities because, as a result of measures itroduced i the past to remove disicetives to outsourcig or to esure that VAT is ot a cost o local taxatio, they ca reclaim VAT i appropriate circumstaces. For other bodies, pricipally o-departmetal public bodies ad the higher ad further educatio sectors, VAT icurred o buyig i services may be a irrecoverable cost. The Cabiet Office estimates that the VAT barrier is potetially ihibitig 70 millio i aual savigs for o-departmetal public bodies. The potetial beefit from removig the VAT barrier for higher educatio ad further educatio bodies is believed to be tes of millios of pouds per year. Further work is beig carried out i the sector to provide a better estimate. There has bee cofusio, particularly i the cetral govermet sector of small departmets, over which departmets will buy ad which will sell. This was clarified i April 2007 whe the Civil Service Steerig Board desigated the Departmet for Work ad Pesios ad HM Reveue & Customs as sellig departmets. There are o clear fiacial icetives for orgaisatios to choose to sell services because, uder rules desiged to esure departmets receive fudig oly as allocated by Parliamet, surpluses are ot allowed to be made from trasactios betwee departmets, although departmets may gai by reducig their ow average costs through sellig services. The desigated sellig departmets have ot yet determied how they will set prices, or whether they will compete agaist other orgaisatios, such as existig public sector 8 Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

11 SUMMARY shared service providers. The Cabiet Office has resolved some icetive issues, otably over who ca claim headcout reductios. It has also started a process potetially leadig to the Cabiet Office buyig services from the Departmet for Work ad Pesios. This, however, is the oly example of a commitmet from a smaller departmet to buy services from aother departmet. It will be the first test case of how a large departmet gives a good service to a much smaller departmet buyig its services. Some issues remai. There are o clear mechaisms to push departmets to buy or sell shared services, so there is a risk of failig to beefit fully from the ecoomies of scale that exist withi large departmets. 11 The Cabiet Office s figure of 1.4 billio for potetial aual savigs from shared services is derived as 20 per cet of a estimated expediture of 7 billio o fiace ad huma resources ad is ot broke dow ito departmetal elemets. This makes it difficult for the Cabiet Office to track meaigful progress towards the overall figure. Sector plas do ot cotai sufficiet fiacial detail for the Cabiet Office to assess whether the sum of idividual projects will deliver savigs o the scale required. There is a lack of trasparet data about the costs of public bodies existig corporate services. Shared services i the NHS ad Priso Service are o course to deliver savigs but experieced early problems with customer satisfactio 12 Two of the more established public sector shared services are NHS Shared Busiess Services, operatioal sice April 2005, ad the Priso Service Shared Service Cetre, i place sice April From our aalysis of results ad forecasts, we estimate that NHS Shared Busiess Services will potetially deliver et preset value savigs of 250 millio over eleve years, of which 160 millio is likely to occur over the first ie years, breakig eve after five years. O the same basis, we estimate that the Priso Service Shared Service will deliver et preset value savigs of 120 millio over ie years, with a break eve poit after five years. Customers of NHS Shared Busiess Services are guarateed iitial gross savigs of at least 20 per cet i the cost of their corporate services with further guarateed cost reductios of two per cet each year. The Priso Service Shared Service will release savigs ultimately equivalet to just over 30 per cet of the gross costs of corporate services. Both sets of forecast busiess results are estimates of future performace based o existig evidece ad are therefore subject to some ucertaity. 14 Orgaisatios receivig these shared services reported early problems. This is a commo experiece with large trasformatio programmes. Difficulties stem maily from operatioal problems associated with the challege of implemetig large ad complex systems ad from the cultural chages ecessary i customer orgaisatios. Evidece from NHS Shared Busiess Services is that customer satisfactio levels rise over time. 15 Shared services have brought other beefits. Those most commo o-fiacial beefits cited by customers of NHS Shared Busiess Services are better maagemet iformatio, paperless trasactio processig, faster trasactio processig ad a step chage i the robustess of processes. Customers have also see substatial savigs i procuremet costs. 16 Neither of the shared services are yet performig at leadig practice stadards of efficiecy but they are costatly pursuig improvemets. Leadig practice performace stadards rely o characteristics such as ivoices beig cosistetly accompaied by purchase orders, automatic approval of low value ivoices with retrospective audit checks, ad passive authority where larger ivoices are paid automatically after a agreed period i which there is o respose to requests for authorisatio. The Departmet of Health is curretly ivestigatig the scope for automatic paymet of low value ivoices that have had prior purchase approval. Value for moey statemet 17 Existig shared services are o course to deliver substatial fiacial savigs but they eed to make further progress i tacklig problems with customer satisfactio i order to demostrate value for moey. It is ot clear that wider shared service activity across govermet is o a scale sufficiet to deliver value for moey savigs approachig the 1.4 billio potetial estimated by the Cabiet Office. Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services 9

12 SUMMARY Recommedatios To improve the broader maagemet of corporate services 1 Issue: Public bodies will miss potetial efficiecy savigs if they do ot streamlie their processes, whether or ot they move to shared services. Public bodies should streamlie their corporate service processes i lie with best practice ad their ow specific requiremets. They should idetify ad remove processes ad aspects of processes where costs outweigh beefits. Streamliig will brig direct fiacial beefits regardless of ay subsequet actio ad will put public bodies i a strog positio to move to shared services if appropriate. 2 Issue: Public bodies caot quatify potetial savigs from sharig corporate services whe they lack cost ad performace data. They are uable to gauge whether their corporate services are improvig over time. Public bodies should improve how they aalyse the performace of their corporate services. Maagemet Boards should expect to receive clear iformatio o the cost ad performace of corporate services, drawig o performace idicators such as those published by the public sector audit agecies. 5 As part of this, bodies should regularly bechmark their performace, with support from the Cabiet Office to ecourage cosistecy ad comparability. 3 Issue: Public bodies caot assess whether their corporate services are delivered i the most cost-effective way if they do ot make comparisos with alterative optios. Public bodies should review regularly whether there are more cost-effective ways to obtai their corporate services. They should carry out rigorous reviews of performace agaist what is possible through alterative approaches such as shared services. They should pla future corporate services provisio i lie with the results of these reviews. If public bodies choose ot to adopt shared services, they should demostrate clear busiess cases showig why shared services are ot the most suitable optio. This approach could be termed share or explai. 4 Issue: The Cabiet Office is ot well placed to drive improvemets o corporate services through the use of shared services whe there is a lack of clear iformatio o the relative performace of departmets existig corporate service provisio. Departmets should icrease the public trasparecy of corporate service performace. Departmets should publish a overview of their corporate services performace, icludig aalysis of costs by corporate fuctio, ad showig performace agaist cetrally agreed bechmarks i either their aual report or Autum Performace Report. Such reportig would help the Cabiet Office, for example which leads o the iformatio techology ad huma resources professios, to become a broader force for corporate service improvemet, extedig beyod the shared service ageda. Based o the Cabiet Office s estimate of spedig o fiace ad huma resources aloe, a 10 per cet improvemet by the least efficiet 10 per cet i cetral ad local govermet would release aual savigs of 70 millio. To improve the take-up of shared services 5 Issue: Recet machiery of govermet chages have split some previously existig departmets. It is importat that these chages do ot result i a proliferatio of corporate services. The Cabiet Office should work to ecourage ewly formed departmets to adopt shared services uless they ca preset compellig busiess cases for ot doig so. Departmets ad other public bodies affected by machiery of govermet chages should review their corporate service provisio ad idetify opportuities to share services. 6 Issue: Smaller departmets are ot yet buyig their corporate services from larger departmets that ca brig ecoomies of scale such as HM Reveue & Customs ad the Departmet for Work ad Pesios. Departmets withi the cetral govermet sector of small departmets should perform a busiess case evaluatio of buyig corporate services from oe of the two desigated sellers, or provide clarity about their way forward towards shared services. Preparig such a busiess case is a sigificat udertakig ad 5 Value for Moey i public sector corporate services, a joit project by the UK Public Sector Audit Agecies, Natioal Audit Office, Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

13 SUMMARY the capacity to udertake the work i both buyig ad sellig departmets will eed to be take ito accout. The estimated aual cost of fiace ad huma resource corporate services withi the cetral govermet sector of small departmets is 130 millio. If two thirds of these services by value moved to oe of the desigated sellers ad secured 20 per cet cost savigs, this would release aroud 17 millio of aual savigs. The sellig departmets cosider this level of savigs to be coservative, particularly whe wider beefits such as improved maagemet iformatio ad process cotrol are take ito accout. 7 Issue: HM Reveue & Customs ad the Departmet for Work ad Pesios facilities could icrease their capacity eablig them to sell shared services to smaller public sector bodies but there is some ucertaity aroud their icetives to do this. The Cabiet Office ad HM Treasury should examie whether existig icetives to sell shared services are sufficiet ad whether further actio is required. The market for shared services has ot yet developed across departmetal boudaries, leavig utapped a potetially large source of savigs. Providig greater icetives may ecourage departmets desigated as sellers to be more active i desigig products to attract customers. 8 Issue: Despite rapid growth, the majority of NHS bodies are ot usig shared services. Where service provisio is retaied i house, boards of NHS orgaisatios eed to be clear that this represets better value for moey tha alterative optios such as NHS Shared Busiess Services or outsourcig. This approach would respect devolved resposibility ad accoutability while explicitly emphasisig the requiremet o every NHS body to secure value for moey. It would challege reasos for resistig chage that are based o perceptio or aecdote rather tha careful aalysis. A busiess case evaluatio would quatify the fiacial ad o fiacial beefits that could be secured by a move to Shared Busiess Services ad provide the criteria from which a decisio ca be made. Shared Busiess Services curret market share, at 21 per cet, is forecast to deliver 16 millio aual fiacial beefits i A icrease i market share to 30 per cet would realise additioal aual beefits of 7 millio. 9 Issue: For some orgaisatios, buyig shared services icurs irrecoverable VAT. This provides a potetial disicetive to movig to shared services. HM Treasury s curret fiacial evaluatio of the VAT barrier should assess the degree to which irrecoverable VAT is prevetig sharig of corporate services across govermet ad the cost of removig the barrier. HM Treasury should take firm actio i the light of that cost beefit aalysis. Ay solutio would eed to be cosistet with EU law, the ormal priciples of public fudig ad the Govermet s wider positio o irrecoverable VAT. Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services 11

14 Part Oe Shared services have great potetial for the public sector 1.1 The Cabiet Office has estimated that implemetig shared corporate services across cetral ad local govermet, particularly i fiace ad huma resources, could release 1.4 billio of savigs every year ad improve service quality. 6 The figure represets 20 per cet savigs o a estimated aual expediture o fiace ad huma resources of 7 billio. This part of the report explais what shared services are, describes the drive to implemet them, sets them i the cotext of broader iitiatives ad explais why ad how we studied them. Efficiet ad effective corporate services are vital i deliverig public services 1.2 Corporate services are vital i deliverig effective ad efficiet public services that meet citizes eeds. Corporate services iclude activities such as fiace ad accoutig, huma resources, procuremet, IT, facilities maagemet ad estates maagemet. These activities may ot be highly visible at the frot lie, but they have a major impact o the quality of public services, particularly if they are ot workig properly. 1.3 Mechaisms to improve the efficiecy ad effectiveess of corporate services iclude more streamlied processes, better performace data, dissemiatio ad adoptio of best practice ad shared services through a rage of mechaisms icludig outsourcig. Leadig practice performace stadards rely o characteristics such as ivoices beig cosistetly accompaied by purchase orders, automatic approval of low value ivoices with retrospective audit checks, ad passive authority where larger ivoices are paid automatically after a agreed period i which there is o respose to requests for authorisatio. Shared services do ot represet a ed i themselves, but they provide a meas, alogside other mechaisms, to greater efficiecy ad effectiveess. 1.4 Public bodies must defie clearly what they wat from their corporate services. Without such clarity there is a risk that existig iefficiecies, which add o value, are built ito ay chages. A defiitio of purpose eables orgaisatios to streamlie their processes to do oly what adds ultimate customer value, to defie service level agreemets or cotractual arragemets with iteral or exteral service providers, ad to idetify appropriate performace measures. Shared services ca save moey ad improve service quality 1.5 Shared services are about combiig corporate service activities across differet parts of a orgaisatio, or across differet orgaisatios, to brig efficiecy savigs ad to improve service. They are ot ew. BACS is a joit veture owed by 15 baks that has bee processig fiacial trasactios sice Federal bodies i the Uited States of America have provided payroll ad fiacial services to other federal bodies sice the early 1980s. 1.6 The practice of sharig services has become icreasigly widespread. May FTSE 100 compaies bega to trasfer their corporate services to shared services models over the late 1980s ad early 1990s. The US Departmet of Defese cosolidated 338 offices providig fiacial services to the military ito the sigle Defese Fiace ad Accoutig Service i the early 1990s. 1.7 Moder shared services emphasise customer focus ad process re-egieerig to achieve maximum operatioal efficiecy ad effectiveess. I this respect they differ from earlier orgaisatios such as the Property Services Agecy, which o loger exists, ad the Chessigto Computer Cetre, which supplied cetralised Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

15 part oe services to public sector orgaisatios for may years before it was privatised. Shared corporate services have the potetial to create a better workig eviromet for staff ad a better service for customers. Moder shared service cetres have sophisticated customer relatioship maagemet applicatios as part of their systems, with telephoy ad call moitorig software to esure customer queries are hadled efficietly. Dedicated process improvemet teams measure performace over time ad maage chages to processes i order to drive up operatioal performace agaist a rage of key performace measures. From our aalysis of shared services, we idetified five recurrig attributes that defie shared services (Figure 1). 1.8 The level of gross aual savigs achievable through shared services depeds strogly o what a orgaisatio has already doe to improve efficiecy ad what further optios are available to it. A UK based survey i 2006 foud FTSE 250 compaies achievig 12 per cet savigs o average i operatioal costs through shared services, a figure close to respodets expectatios. 7 A earlier versio of the same survey coducted i 2001 foud compaies achievig operatioal savigs of 22 per cet. The differece may be because later etrats had already secured some of the potetial savigs through streamliig 1 Five attributes defie shared services Distict goverace A distict orgaisatioal structure with a dedicated maagemet team delivers the operatioal aspects of corporate services for oe or more orgaisatios. Stadard processes Processes are stadardised ad streamlied. Ecoomies of scale Scale is achieved through combiig processes previously executed idepedetly. Customer drive A culture of service delivery is igraied withi the shared services cetre. Resources are committed to key accout maagemet, moitorig key performace idicators ad the achievemet of service level agreemets. Cotiuous Process Improvemet Dedicated project teams maage process chage to drive improvemets i both efficiecy ad levels of service. processes ad adoptig eterprise wide IT systems. The survey did ot explicitly cosider the levels of ivestmet but the average payback period reported was foud to be 4 years i 2001 fallig to 3.5 years i A differet iteratioal survey foud a wide rage of reported savigs with the most commoly reported savigs beig 11 to 15 per cet. 8 There is less iformatio available o public sector shared services because progress i implemetig them has bee slower. Nevertheless, two case studies aalysed i this report are deliverig or projectig gross aual savigs of 20 to 30 per cet, suggestig the Cabiet Office s figure of 20 per cet potetial savigs is a realistic aspiratio. 1.9 Shared services brig beefits ad challeges. The challeges have to do with the size ad complexity of operatios. The potetial beefits are ot simply about fiacial savigs but cover broader issues aroud quality of service ad better iformatio (Figure 2). 2 Shared services have the potetial to brig a rage of beefits Cost savigs Achievemet of ecoomies of scale, ad higher levels of efficiecy through simplificatio ad stadardisatio of processes. Lower ivestmet costs The poolig of trasactioal activities across a orgaisatio ito a sigle shared service operatio makes more efficiet use of ivestmet capital. Better iformatio ad data Higher levels of techology ivestmet leadig to more reliable, richer ad cosistet maagemet iformatio, which ca eable further fiacial savigs, for example i procuremet. Customer service From a sigle locatio usig greater stadardisatio of processes, it is easier to deliver services to a agreed ad documeted set of performace stadards with a explicit focus o customer service. Shiftig focus The aggregatio of trasactioal processig frees up the time of corporate services professioals allowig their focus to shift towards value added activities. Comparability The itroductio of commo stadards eables easier comparisos of performace ad processes across large orgaisatios. Source: Natioal Audit Office Source: Natioal Audit Office 7 Shared service cetres: deliverig the promise; PA Cosultig Group; Shared services: The Evolutio of Higher Performace: Acceture; Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services 13

16 part oe Shared services are relatively ew to the public sector 1.10 The Gersho Review, which iformed the 2004 Spedig Review, idetified shared services as a method for realisig efficiecy savigs i the Uited Kigdom public sector. 9 Sice the, departmets have developed ad implemeted their ow plas while the Cabiet Office has take the lead i drivig shared services across the cetral govermet sector (Figure 3). Some work o shared services, otably NHS Shared Busiess Services, was i had before the Gersho Review Shared services have high level support withi govermet (Figure 4). The Corporate Fuctio Leaders Board also has the potetial to cotribute to the wider adoptio of shared services. Its curret emphasis is o esurig cosistet approaches to activities such as recruitmet, talet maagemet ad performace appraisal withi each professio, icludig fiace ad huma resources, ad across differet professios. The Shared Services Team was established i the Cabiet Office i 2005 as part of a Trasformatioal Govermet Strategy to assist i the rollout of shared services across cetral govermet. Shared services ad streamlied processes are closely liked 1.12 Orgaisatios take three broad approaches to drive out iefficiecies from these fuctios (Figure 5). Some trasform their fuctios first by streamliig processes, dissemiatig ad adoptig best practice, ad the establish shared services to gai further efficiecies from reduced duplicatio ad greater ecoomies of scale. Others establish shared services the, oce at a sigle locatio, trasform their processes through streamliig ad stadardisatio. A combied approach is to make both chages cocurretly, as adopted by NHS Shared Busiess Services, which advises o process improvemet durig migratio to the shared service. The risk of streamliig processes oly after movig to shared services is that it ca tie purchasers of shared services to providers that are prepared to work aroud purchasers iefficiet processes rather tha opeig up opportuities with other providers that might offer greater cost beefits. 3 Shared services have bee developig across cetral govermet sice 2003 December July February April Departmet of Health issues teder seekig a parter for a shared services joit veture Shared Services Team formed i the Cabiet Office Head of the Home Civil Service writes to Permaet Secretaries expressig the importace of shared services i deliverig efficiecy targets Civil Service Steerig Board selects Departmet for Work ad Pesios ad HM Reveue & Customs as providers of shared services to other cetral govermet departmets July Gersho Review ad Spedig Review 2004 highlighted shared services as a key driver of efficiecy savigs November/December Trasformatioal Govermet Strategy produced ad Departmets allocated to sectors to drive forward shared service developmet Jauary Shared services sector plas published Source: Natioal Audit Office Aalysis 9 Releasig resources for the frotlie: Idepedet Review of Public Sector Efficiecy, Sir Peter Gersho, July Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

17 part oe 4 Shared services have high level support withi govermet Source: Natioal Audit Office aalysis 5 Miisterial Leadership Miisterial Sub Committee Arragemets are i the process of reorgaisatio. Prior to curret chages, the Committee o Public Services ad Public Expediture set the overall strategic directio for shared services Civil Service Leadership Civil Service Steerig Board Comprises selected Permaet Secretaries ad cosiders shared services whe decisios eed to be made across govermet Shared services ca be implemeted before, after or alogside process trasformatio Shared Services established Greater ecoomies of scale ad reduced duplicatio Startig Poit Greater streamliig ad stadardisatio 5 Shared Services established ad processes trasformed Processes trasformed Our report assesses progress i implemetig shared services 1.13 Our report highlights achievemets to date ad idetifies how cetral govermet ca get more from a shared services approach. It covers maily the corporate services areas of fiace ad huma resources. We start with a detailed aalysis of the costs ad beefits of two more mature iitiatives so that our broader assessmet of progress across govermet is iformed by a clear uderstadig of realities o the groud. More specifically, this study: assesses the performace of two existig shared services (Part Two); provides a overview of progress across cetral govermet (Part Three); ad assesses how the Cabiet Office is leadig the shared services iitiative (Part Four) The study ivolved detailed documet reviews, semi-structured iterviews with a wide rage of key stakeholders, site visits to two shared service cetres, a cesus of their customers, ad compariso of performace with leadig private practice. Appedix 1 provides further details of our methodology. Optio 1 (routes 1 ad 2) Corporate service fuctios are moved to shared services with little or o process trasformatio, ad processes are the simplified ad stadardised oce all activity is i the shared services cetre Optio 2 (routes 4 ad 5) Busiess processes are first trasformed ad the cosolidated withi a shared service cetre Optio 3 (routes 3) Process trasformatio ad the move to shared services happe simultaeously Source: Natioal Audit Office aalysis Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services 15

18 Part two NHS ad HM Priso Service shared services are o course to deliver savigs but have experieced problems with customer satisfactio 2.1 This part of the report assesses two of the more established shared service cetres operatig i the cetral govermet sector: NHS Shared Busiess Services ad the Priso Service Shared Service. Because shared services are relative ewcomers to cetral govermet, eve these more established services are i their early stages of operatio ad have yet to fulfil their ultimate potetial, although they deserve credit for the progress they have made. Both are o course to deliver cost savigs ad both have the potetial to deliver value for moey as they address issues over customer service. Differet mechaisms ca work for shared services 2.2 NHS Shared Busiess Services is a joit veture betwee the Departmet of Health ad Xasa, a compay specialisig i shared services. A study commissioed by the Departmet of Health i 2000 led to a i house pilot i 2001, prior to the lauch of the Cabiet Office s shared services iitiative i As a result of lessos leart from the pilot, the Departmet of Health prepared a busiess case for the joit veture i The Departmet of Health cosidered a joit veture would provide the right icetives for high quality service, respod flexibly to chagig requiremets, give cost trasparecy ad geerate the close workig ecessary to respod to ucertaity where the use of shared busiess services could ot be madated. Xasa were selected as joit veture parter as the Departmet cosidered the compay demostrated strog performace ad value for moey. The Departmet decided to trasfer the pilot project ad its staff to the joit veture. The joit veture therefore took over the leases of two buildigs, IT equipmet ad ifrastructure, the customer base ad existig staff from the pilot project. The joit veture, with two shared service cetres i Leeds ad Bristol i 2003, commeced across the whole of the NHS i April Shared Busiess Services offers procuremet, fiace ad accoutig services o a volutary basis to 416 NHS orgaisatios. It is processig ivoices at a rate of 1.8 millio a year with a aual value of 12 billio. 2.3 The Priso Service Shared Service stems from a review of back office fuctios i the cotext of the 2004 Spedig Review. The review built o the existig Phoeix Programme to deliver a moder itegrated IT system. The selected optio was to create a Shared Service Cetre for all 128 Priso Service establishmets at a sigle site i Newport. The Shared Service Cetre became operatioal for fiace ad procuremet services i April 2006, ad for huma resources services i October Full deploymet of fiace ad procuremet services was complete i July 2007, ad huma resources services are due to complete i the secod quarter of The two case study shared services exhibit several cotrastig features (Figure 6). For example, they differ o paymet mechaisms ad o whether participatio is volutary or madatory. This shows that differet approaches ca work for differet orgaisatios. There are commo challeges i implemetig shared services regardless of the mechaism chose, ad further challeges associated with particular ways of doig busiess. 16 Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

19 part two Shared services are begiig to deliver cost savigs 2.5 Based o our aalyses of results ad forecasts, we estimate that NHS Shared Busiess Services will potetially deliver cumulative et preset value et savigs of 250 millio over eleve years, of which 160 millio is likely to occur i the first ie years (Figure 7 overleaf). These savigs will be achieved through partership, where Shared Busiess Services facilitates efficiet processes ad NHS bodies act to streamlie local processes ad udertake orgaisatioal chage. The Departmet of Health s ivestmet i Shared Busiess Services, comprisig a idepedet valuatio of the assets trasferred from the pilot to the joit veture ad the iitial cost of the Oracle software licece, will reach a break eve poit after four years of operatio, broadly i lie with average private sector practice. Idividual NHS bodies are guarateed iitial gross savigs of at least 20 per cet o their existig costs whe they joi Shared Busiess Services, with further guarateed aual cost reductios of two per cet. The gross savigs secured are i lie with private sector experiece. The results ad forecasts represet a overall improvemet o the busiess case, due to the followig effects. A agreemet to provide services to NHS Professioals, the orgaisatio supplyig temporary staff to the NHS, has added to the customer base aticipated i the busiess case. Shared Busiess Services cosiders that its customers could egotiate reduced audit fees through the cotrols assurace provided by the SAS 70 accreditatio secured by Shared Busiess Services. Shared Busiess Services decided to remove the busiess case assumptio that take up would stop at 50 per cet of all NHS bodies, icreasig the forecast savigs i later years. The Oracle bulk licece required to ru Shared Busiess Services has bee made available at a discout to all NHS bodies, icludig those that are ot customers of Shared Busiess Services. Aided by e-procuremet, gais are begiig to be realised as a result of aalysig ad actig o better maagemet iformatio. The arragemet ca secure better prices by comparig differet suppliers for the same products. Shared Busiess Services iteds to exted it across Eglad ad make it available to NHS bodies that are ot customers of Shared Busiess Services. There has bee a egative impact from NHS bodies becomig customers at a slower rate tha plaed. This may be due i part to NHS reorgaisatio divertig seior maagemet attetio away from shared services. By September 2007, 21 per cet of NHS bodies were customers. 2.6 Forecasts of future performace are estimates based o the best evidece curretly available ad are therefore subject to ucertaity. The mai issues are as follows. Future savigs are predicated o cotiuig growth of the customer base, to 65 per cet of NHS orgaisatios by There is a high level of ucertaity aroud the growth assumptio. Procuremet savigs represet the largest elemet of savigs from NHS Shared Busiess Services. They are estimated very broadly at oe per cet of the total budget of the customer base i each year assumig a coservative adoptio. It is ot clear to what extet NHS bodies will secure audit savigs through SAS 70 accreditatio at Shared Busiess Services. 6 NHS The two case study shared services exhibit cotrastig features Priso Service A joit veture betwee the Departmet of Health ad Xasa Operatioal from April 2005 Participatio from 416 NHS Trusts is volutary Operatios are based i the UK ad Idia NHS Trusts are charged idividually for the services provided There are o madatory powers to require NHS Trusts to stadardise their processes to fit the eeds of Shared Busiess Services A i-house iitiative with EDS as IT delivery parter Operatioal from April 2006 Participatio from 128 Priso Service establishmets is madatory Operatios are based solely i the UK The Priso Service removes fuds from every establishmet to provide a sigle shared services budget The Shared Service Cetre has the power to impose uiform processes across Priso Service establishmets Source: Natioal Audit Office aalysis Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services 17

20 part two 2.7 Four key features of NHS Shared Busiess Services help to secure savigs. Shared Busiess Services has to demostrate clear fiacial beefits i relatio to potetial customers existig arragemets i order to persuade them to joi. NHS Shared Busiess Services works with potetial ew customers to determie their existig costs. It the calculates a migratio charge for each customer ad a ogoig price for services which represets at least a 20 per cet reductio o existig costs, based o the costs to NHS Shared Busiess Services of supportig that customer. NHS bodies decide whether to joi Shared Busiess Services partly o the basis of the cost reductio offered. Shared Busiess Services has a cotractual commitmet to deliver further two per cet aual real terms cotiuig savigs to its customers oce they joi. A combiatio of a divided ad other fees for the right to operate shared services, all depedet o busiess results, will be distributed back to NHS customers of Shared Busiess Services. The divided becomes payable whe the joit veture reaches positive cash balaces ad is distributed betwee the NHS ad Xasa. Other fees are payable oly to the NHS. They comprise a licece fee calculated o a slidig scale from 0.5 per cet of turover at 20 millio to 4.0 per cet of turover at 7 NHS Shared Busiess Services actual/projected figures ( millio) Years Costs Pilot project Oracle licece 13.8 Migratio facility NHS migratio costs Total costs Savigs Trust savigs Divided ad fees to NHS SAS 70 audit savigs Oracle discout to NHS Procuremet savigs Total savigs Net savigs Net aual savigs NPV of savigs Net cumulative NPV savigs Source: Natioal Audit Office aalysis of data provided by Departmet of Health ad Xasa NOTES The aalysis relates to the Departmet of Health s fiacial ivolvemet i the NHS Shared Busiess Services joit veture ad the beefits that ivolvemet secures for the NHS. It shows the et savigs, through shared services, o the costs of ruig corporate services i idividual NHS bodies ad it does ot iclude the gross costs of those services. 1 The pilot project cost is the value to the joit veture of assets ad liabilities take over from the pilot project based o the best estimate of cosultats employed by the Departmet of Health at the time of settig up the joit veture. 2 The migratio facility, available to NHS bodies, helps with migratio ad redudacy costs icurred through movig to shared services. 3 The NHS share of the joit veture divided is distributed back to NHS customers of Shared Busiess Services alog with other fees paid for the right to operate the shared service. 4 SAS 70 savigs are the estimated audit savigs that NHS bodies could secure by relyig o the accreditatio of cotrols at Shared Busiess Services. 5 Savigs from the bulk Oracle licece have bee made available to all NHS bodies, regardless of whether they joi Shared Busiess Services. 6 Improved maagemet iformatio has eabled Shared Busiess Services to secure procuremet savigs through better prices ad reduced trasactio costs. 7 Net preset value figures are calculated usig a aual discout factor of 3.5 per cet i lie with Treasury guidace. The forecast exteds over the period to i lie with the origial busiess case. Colums may ot sum exactly due to roudig. 18 Improvig corporate fuctios usig shared services

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