Improvement Service

Supporting Scottish Local Government and its partners to deliver better outcomes for communities

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Supporting change and shared services

change-on-barometerShared Services is considered to be a key enabler of public service reform, helping organisations to gain economies of scale and skills. However, shared services can mean different things to different people. It is more than just centralisation or consolidation of  similar activities into one location, and it is not just about back office functions.

The Improvement Service works with the Local Government National Shared Services Board, councils and other partners on developing strategies for change, pursuing opportunities for improving services and realising efficiencies through simplifying, standardising and sharing within and between councils and their partners, and delivering specific collaborative projects.

Current projects/areas of work

Local government and shared services - working with the COSLA Shared Services Board to shape a vision, framework and advocacy plan for shared services for the next three to five years. This has included:

Transforming services - capturing and sharing the knowledge gained from the shared services diagnostic and design projects to inform future public sector projects and initiatives.

Public Information Notices (PINs) portal – a single online source of local information regarding services such as roadworks and property developments.

Customer First – creating customer-focused, easier to access, better integrated local services.

Scottish Shared Scientific Services Programme - considering options for creating a shared service to deliver scientific services in Scotland.

Shared workforce planning – helping councils collectively plan and deliver the level, type and quality of workforce they need.

Revenues and benefits – exploring collaboration around administration, billing and collection of Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates, Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit.

Clyde Valley – working with the eight Clyde Valley local authorities to carry out the recommendations in the Clyde Valley Review 09.

Edinburgh, Lothians, Scottish Borders and Fife – exploring potential for shared services in payroll, procurement, road maintenance, mobile/flexible working and integrated audit functions.

What we've delivered

  •, the local government national recruitment portal
  • Scotland Excel, the local government procurement centre of expertise
  • Diagnostic Pathway
  • Clyde Valley Learning and Development
  • Orkney Joint Working
  • Western Isles Integrated Service Delivery

Summaries of all these projects are in our Simplify, Standardise and Share leaflet.

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