£4m saved by sharing services

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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The government is planning to save more than £4 million a year by sharing back office and support functions.

Chief Minister Allan Bell announced the move during the debate on proposals to modernise ministerial government, which were unanimously approved by Tynwald last week.

Staff and budgets will be brought together to create shared services in catering, within the new Department of Health and Social Care, cleaning within the Department of Infrastructure (with the exception of hospital cleaners), fleet management within the Department of Infrastructure, and IT, occupational health and safety, learning and development, and public and media relations, within the new Cabinet Office.

Government will also consolidate areas of finance, human resources and estates that were not included in the original round of shared services in 2010-11.

The idea is to achieve savings through streamlining processes and management structures, and sharing accommodation where appropriate.

Mr Bell said: ‘One of the recurring themes that emerged from the Scope of Government Review concerned the duplication of certain back office and support functions across different Departments. We know from previous experience that bringing together similar services can deliver tangible cost savings, as well as creating centres of excellence in terms of knowledge and skills.’

He added: ‘The Council of Ministers feels it is essential to ensure that Government runs itself as efficiently as possible. That is why we are introducing further shared services, with target savings of £4.6 million per annum within three years.’

The new shared services will be operational from April 1, in line with the changes agreed as part of the modernisation programme.

Those measures include the creation of new Cabinet Office, disbanding the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure, reuniting Health and Social Care and merging the MEA and Water Authority.

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