‘Shared services shockers still fresh in collective memories’

Will a competitive inter-jurisdictional network be the future of shared services? Moving beyond the hub-and-spoke model is on the minds of bosses, as they consider centres of excellence as the “business partners” for public service needs in IT, payroll, legal and communications.

The leaders of Australia’s oldest and newest shared services centres took on the very real perceptions that past implementations haven’t always lived up to the promise of contestability and greater innovation, at a seminar in Canberra last month.

Delaine Wilson

Delaine Wilson

Delaine Wilson, director of the federal government’s one-year-old shared services centre, suggested the Commonwealth centre’s role may change as demand and competitors arrive.

“The world is full of overnight success stories and sadly, shared services isn’t going to be one of them,” Wilson told the seminar, hosted by the Institute for Public Administration Australia’s ACT Branch.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.

  • Sober_Philip

    Regrettably, the Commonwealth retained nothing of the lessons learned in DAS Support Services, terminated by the Department of Finance under the Howard Government. It was the first quasi-commercial shared services organisation, serving untied public sector clients in the Commonwealth and beyond, as well as the Department of Administrative Services itself.