GO shared savings
GO Shared Services aims to save four Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire councils £675k a year through providing a shared finance, procurement, HR and payroll service.
Cotswold, Cheltenham, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire council staff will use UNIT4's Agresso Local Government Platform to run the shared back office service, which is also providing services to two clients - Cheltenham Borough Homes Ltd (Cheltenham Borough Council's Arms' Length Management Organisation) and Ubico Ltd (a local authority company owned by Cheltenham Borough Council and Cotswold District Council.)
To date, three local authorities and the two non-local authority clients have successfully implemented the ERP system, with Cotswold District Council due to go live over the summer. In the autumn, the service will be reshaped to deliver both the financial and non-financial benefits which were forecast in the business case for the project.
Cheltenham BC councillor, Colin Hay, who chaired the GO Strategic Partnership Management Board, said: "From day one, all the partners focused on working for the common good and there was no sign of any parochialism - I am sure that is why they have succeeded in this venture even when some doubters thought that it might not be achievable. Our shared service is already generating interest from several local authorities and is being seen as a model to follow."
Anwen Robinson, Managing Director at UNIT4 Business Software Ltd, pointed out that although the GO partners had no blueprint to follow "They have done exceptionally well to hit their targets. The fact that they will be making savings from October onwards demonstrates that shared services between large public sector organisations can quickly become a success."
Shared services success stories
See UKAuthority.tv's documentary on its research into the keys to making shared services a success, 'Collaboration Nation'.