Are shared services the answer?
The Australian council system is an unusual one. In New South Wales they have 152 councils, and although it’s a big state, in comparison with the way things are run in Europe, the ratio of councils to people seems far too exaggerated. Especially, when there is such a disparity between council sizes. The smallest only has a population of 1251, which means that the level of support and services will far outstrip that of one of the larger councils, where resources sometimes have to provide for over three hundred thousand people.
Scheme costs 500 million more than anticipated according to PAC
Central government hasn’t been having the same success as local government in their aim to integrate back office services. The chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, MP Margaret Hodge has claimed that, “Government could save significant sums of money if it pooled back office functions such as finance, HR and procurement.”
Yet, the report into their attempts to date has been far from complementary; the efforts haven’t resulted in savings, in some cases it’s actually cost taxpayers more!