Benchmarking of Corporate Services provides evidence for individual bodies to consider the relative efficiency and effectiveness of their own corporate service business functions. It is also an evidence gathering process that will inform and enable decisions about future efficiency and public sector delivery transformation opportunities. At a time of increasing pressure on already constrained public budgets it is essential that public sector organisations maximise efficiency and provide assurance to the public and to other stakeholders that they are minimising running costs.
There are over 40 organisations participating in the benchmarking from the Scottish Government, it's Executive Agencies and NDPB's. Data is collected across five corporate services (Estates, Finance, Human Resources, Information Communications Technology and Legal). The indicators used in the benchmarking are based on the value for money indicators developed and used by the Public Audit Agencies. The Audit Agencies issued a statement in June 2011 stating that they would no longer be developing the indicators but would continue to encourage the use of benchmarking in the public sector. The Scottish Government and the participating agencies remain committed to the benchmarking process.
Benefits of benchmarking
Organisations are using the benchmarking data to reduce costs and improve services. The data has been used when reviewing procurement contracts, looking at shared services opportunities and in implementing new policies and services. The data has also been used in reviewing processes (resulting in reduction in time and costs) and to address sickness absence figures. Specific examples can be found in the 2009/10 report.
A report was prepared on the data collected for 2008/09. At this time data was collected for four corporate services estates, finance, HR and ICT across 35 organisations. The dataset informing the report is also available.
A high level summary report has been prepared for the 2009/10 data. A total of 43 organisations reported data for some or all of the indicators. The dataset behind the report is also available.
A high level summary report has been prepared for the 2010/11 data. The dataset behind the report is also available.
The 2011/12 data collection process commenced on 01 October 2012. The data collected will be analysed and a report prepared for publication in 2013. Please contact the Shared Services Team if you have any questions.
Questions and Answers
What is being measured?
We gather data across five corporate services, estates, finance, HR, ICT and legal. The data is gathered through a secure website available to all participating organisations.
Why are we measuring these indicators?
Given the economic climate in which organisations are operating, having this data available offers evidence in support of decision making around performance improvement, efficiencies and effectiveness, shared services and sharing best practice. There are already examples where the benchmarking process has contributed to savings and process changes.
What is the governance around the benchmarking?
A Project Board is in place. Membership comprises representatives from a selection of participating organisations and the chairs of the expert groups. Five expert groups (one for each of the corporate services) report to the Project Board. There is also a small project team.
What are the linkages to other initiatives?
There are close relationships between the benchmarking the public service reform and shared services agendas. These linkages are closely monitored within the SG.