2016 Bill progresses through Dáil to put National Shared Services Office on independent footing in line with best practice
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., will this evening (Wednesday) bring the National Shared Services Office (NSSO) Bill to Second Stage in the Dáil.
The National Shared Services Office Bill 2016 provides for the establishment of the NSSO as a separate Civil Service Office, under the aegis of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with its own Accounting Officer.
The NSSO has been making significant progress in advancing Shared Services within the civil service, since it was established on an administrative basis in 2014. This includes:
- The development of a single finance technology platform that will replace 31 existing finance systems across Government Departments and Offices. Approximately €15.4m in full year savings is expected when this is fully operational, through a reduction in the cost of support and in the number of staff (145 full time equivalents) required to provide financial management processing services.
- Savings in the cost of the delivery of HR administration estimated at €3.7m across the first three groups of Departments and Offices that migrated to the new service.
- The single Payroll Shared Service Centre for the Civil Service (PSSC) replacing 18 payroll centres that had different versions of payroll/pension/travel/subsistence systems. Annual savings are expected to be in the order of €5.5m when fully operational.
Minister Donohoe stated: ‘Shared services is the biggest cross-cutting transformational change the civil service has experienced. The statutory establishment of the NSSO as a separate office will meet the requirements of international best practice in this area and, as a result, I welcome the approval of this Bill’.
“Of utmost importance to me, and to this Government, is ensuring that our work continues to have a positive impact on the general public and that services are delivered in an efficient and cost effective way. I believe that shared services in the civil service is doing just that by creating one dedicated team that is taking daily operational functions common to all departments, such as finance, human resources and payroll, and transforming them through process standardisation, system consolidation and higher levels of automation and self-service.”
The NSSO is charged with leading the shared services strategy and the implementation of shared services projects and operations within the overall public service reform and renewal context across the civil service.
Shared services reduces the duplication of effort by consolidating transactional functions, thus enabling quicker access to data and improved data quality through increased standardisation, specialisation, automation, and control. The education, health and local government sectors are also advancing shared service strategies, supported by the NSSO.
Minister Donohoe commented: “I support this Bill, as I believe the Government’s commitment to investing in shared services must be maintained in order to realize the full benefit of it. I look forward to the ongoing dividends that shared services will deliver into the future.”
Notes to Editors:
- Shared services in the Irish public service is the consolidation of corporate services into a Shared Services Centre administered by the public service, to enable increased standardisation, efficiency, purchasing power, service quality, automation, and control. It is a standard service model that can be found in use by governments internationally, including the United Kingdom, the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Portugal.
- The report, ‘An Examination of Shared Services in the Irish Public Service and internationally’ is available to download from www.per.gov.ie.
- The National Shared Services Bill 2016 is available from www.oireachtas.ie.