Despite the pressure for local councils to follow the lead of the private sector and develop shared service and partnership arrangements, the barriers in terms of culture, differences in priorities across councils and lack of experience are formidable - yet this is the most likely source of meeting government targets for reduced overheads and improved organizational effectiveness. By using extensive case studies drawn from across local councils in England, Ray Tomkinson explains the implications of sharing service delivery, addresses concerns about loss of control and accountability, and demonstrates the potential advantages. He shows how to set up collaborative ventures, formal partnerships, shared service centres or special purpose vehicles, while pointing out possible pitfalls, thus enabling senior managers to follow all the necessary project steps to create an appropriate shared service. It seeks to examine the evidence of the cost, effectiveness and quality improvements achieved from sharings. This ground-breaking book has been written for everyone in local government; it explores the political and cultural barriers, and legislative/legal framework for joint workings, explains how to find an appropriate governance vehicle, and how to gain the commitment of partners. It deals with political and managerial concerns, risk aversion and parochial issues, and the possible impact on the reputation and performance of both sharers. Shared Services in Local Government is the only comprehensive study for the UK and it will ensure any public sector organization pursuing this route is able to approach the task of creating a shared service with a real understanding of the issues involved.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword; Introduction; The background to shared services; The impetus to share; Shared services case studies; Case study 1 - Anglia Revenues Partnership; Case study 2 - The Welland Partnership; Learning from the case studies; The shared services scene; The 'fifth' wave; The future for shared services - The 'sixth' wave?; Appendices; Further reading; Index.
Ray Tomkinson is a consultant specializing in public sector performance improvement. A period as a Best Value Inspector gave him wide experience of Strategic Partnerships and for a year he was the project manager of the innovative shared services initiative by the Welland Partnership, an ongoing alliance of five different local authorities: East Northamptonshire District Council, Northamptonshire; Harborough District Council, Leicestershire; Melton Borough Council, Leicestershire; Rutland County Council; and South Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire.
'This book explains in considerable detail the implications of sharing service delivery, addresses concerns about loss of control and accountability, and demonstrates the potential advantages and I know of no other effort made previously to evaluate whether sharing actually improves things faster than traditional methods of improvement’ John O'Halloran, Local Government Director, Serco