Government plans for next generation shared services in the public sector will save taxpayers up to £500m a year, the Cabinet Office has claimed.
In a new document dubbed the Next Generation Shared Services Strategic Plan, the government has outlined how its departments and associated bodies will work together to share functions such as human resources, procurement, finance and payroll. Its aim is to make potential savings of between £400m to £600m a year in administration costs.
The government says that this is the first stage of a comprehensive plan to expand shared services to other areas, including legal services.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, who unveiled the plans, said: "There is absolutely no need for departments and arms-length bodies to have their own back-office functions and duplicate efforts, when they can be delivered more efficiently by sharing services and expertise. Plus, it will save the taxpayer half a billion pounds a year.
"That's why we have taken action and fundamentally changed the way central government departments share their services. We want sharing services to become the norm, so every department has high quality, flexible and resilient services available. This means they can focus on their priority of implementing policy and delivering key public services," he added.
The key objectives of the plan include creating and operating a "Crown Oversight Function", which is intended to work with departments to deliver improvements in their quality of service and to reduce the operating costs of shared services.
Another objective is to create two independent shared services centres (ISSCs).
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