Date: Tues 15 Jan 2008
Sharing Services won't deliver savings to meet Government targets
UNISON, Scotland's public service union, will today tell MSPs
that relying on sharing services to save money in the public sector
will not work.
At a meeting in the Parliament organised as part of the STUC TU
week, UNISON's Scottish Secretary Matt Smith will point to huge
budget overruns in much vaunted schemes abroad, and criticised authorities
for uncritical acceptance of savings claims from private consultants.
Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary will say "While UNISON
is a key supporter of public authorities working in partnership
to deliver better and more cost-effective services, Shared Services
does not deliver the major savings in the short term that some consultants
and government departments try to sell us.
"In Western Australia, for example - used by the Government as
an example of successful savings - we now see a programme that is
two years behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget -
$20 million overspend has been estimated for 2008-9 alone. Our own
National Audit Office indicates that shared service projects in
the UK have so far taken 5 years to break even, and that major investment
is needed in the short term to deliver longer term savings.
"If you add in other costs - like increased VAT costs - it is clear
that, even if there are longer term saving potentials, shared services
will not deliver the Government's desired 2% savings in the short
Matt Smith will be speaking to a meeting in the Parliament, (Committee
Room 3) at 1.00pm on Wednesday 16 January. In addition to the criticism
of overblown savings claims, UNISON is warning that sharing services
could mean increased centralisation of jobs draining them from more
remote communities, and centralised purchasing that will favour
the use of large UK-wide bulk suppliers over local firms.
Matt will say "At a time that Government is advocating sourcing
supplies like food locally, to move to fewer, large suppliers, delivering
across the UK runs counter to attempts to decrease the delivery
mileage and assist in tackling climate change,."
Note to Editors/Correspondents: The meeting in Committee
Room 3, at 1.00pm is open to members of the press.
For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith (Scottish
Secretary) 07771 548 997(m) Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser) 07958
122409 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)