By David Bicknell
An improvement and efficiency local authority-owned mutual has been set up to help England’s councils save money.
Created from the South East region’s improvement and efficiency partnership, iESE is now setting out to help councils and other local public services that are struggling to cope with the public sector financial squeeze.
Although some services will be free, the bulk of the new company’s income will be generated by fees charged to councils levied from efficiency savings. Surpluses generated will be reinvested back into iESE ‘to further improve the sector’.
Neil Blake, who is Aylesbury Vale District Council’s representative on iESE’s board, said: “Councils can no longer rely on existing ways to meet their tough savings targets. That’s why we were the first council to sign up to iESE Limited’s shared procurement service as a fresh way of helping to deliver our savings. Only by exploring new avenues like those offered by iESE Limited will councils achieve the scale of savings required.”
iESE, which works with local authorities and other public sector organisations in the South East and beyond, believes it has built knowledge and expertise in complex service areas such as Waste and Resource Management; Social Care; Procurement and Construction. It argues that rather than creating unnecessary additional bureaucracy or process, it provides a fresh perspective to challenges to release savings and improve services for citizens.
By Tony Collins
The Cabinet Office has published “Government Shared Services: A Strategic Vision – July 2011″ which suggests a “cloud- based ERP standard platform which Departments could buy into and from”.
The idea is part of the coalition’s plans to standardise IT systems within government. Standardising could save money – but, as the Public Administration Select Committee warned last week, not if standardising means giving even more control of government IT to a few large, monopolistic suppliers.
The Cabinet Office says that a number of Departments are due to upgrade their supporting IT systems for back office corporate services in the coming years.
“A co-ordinated management approach by Government will lower the cost of reinvestment whilst enabling a rationalisation of the current landscape,” says the Cabinet Office.
“For example, a number of large Departments who have implemented and operate an Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) solution need to plan for the expiration of support to the current instance by 2013.
“This presents an opportunity for UK Government to source a “vertical” solution for a “cloud based” ERP standard platform which Departments could buy into and from.”
On Shared Services, the plan is to
“reform how Central Government procures and manages consolidated back office corporate services – by establishing an equitable market of a small number of accredited Independent Shared Service Centres and enabling Departments and their ALBs [arm’s-length bodies] to choose between these – in order to drive up quality and reduce costs of these services, in support of Governments cost reduction targets.”
The Cabinet office says that approved shared services centres will “provide outcome based services, using standardised simplified processes, with the expectation to regularly publish performance data against established benchmarks”.
They will be able to make use of different business models – such as mutualisation – to “leverage capability and the financial investment needed to deliver this service and may operate virtually or from a small number of fully integrated delivery centres”.
Government shared services – a strategic vision. July 2011
Posted in Campaign4Change, change, Cloud, Cloud Computing, collaboration, G-Cloud, innovation, managing change, mutualisation, mutuals, outsourcing, public sector, public services, reforms, Uncategorized
Tagged Cabinet Office, Cloud, Coalition, G-Cloud, government IT, government procurement, mutualisation, mutuals, Open Public Services White Paper, outsourcing, public sector, shared services, SME government contracts