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Brothers in arms

19 October 2010

Sir Philip Green, the head of the retail giant Top Shop and Bhs, delivered a report into inefficiency and waste in Whitehall recently. It came a week after Eric Pickles called on councils to fundamentally re-think their finances by merging services with neighbouring authorities at the Conservative party conference.

With council’s facing huge cuts when the comprehensive spending review is announced later this week, it is no surprise that new shared services projects are being announced on an almost weekly basis. The latest being the merger between Bamberg DC and Mid Suffolk DC.

The history of shared services tells us that scepticism across the public sector has been its biggest Achilles heel. According to a recent survey by Browne Jacobson workforce opposition was seen by managers as a major barrier but with significant job losses already on the horizon we are seeing a sea change in attitudes and a growing realisation that shared services can play a critical part in meeting the financial challenges and limiting job losses the sector will undoubtedly face in the months and years to come.

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