The NSW Department of Education and Communities has kicked off a state-wide review of how it delivers internal corporate services, describing its siloed shared services centres – including IT – as operating at various levels of maturity.
The DEC and its 99,766 full-time equivalent staff account for roughly a quarter of the state’s public sector expenditure every year.
Its dedicated IT shared service centre is responsible for 225,000 desktop computers, 530,000 laptops, 100 applications and more than 3000 servers – producing 250,000 support calls in any 12 month period.
“The department is considering how the service delivery model can be strengthened,” a DEC spokesman said.
It has invited industry members to make face-to-face pitches to its executives suggesting ways the department might leverage its existing shared services centralisation to improve its delivery model.
While corporate services advisors and suppliers have been asked to detail the level of market participation involved in their proposals, the department has insisted the program is not focused on offloading the back-office functions onto the private sector.
“The project is not focused on outsourcing as an alternative service delivery approach," the spokesman told iTnews.
“The focus of the market engagement component of the project is to explore innovation and emerging ideas to help shape a new service delivery model and inform internal improvement initiatives.
“There is no expected outcome of the project in terms of the impact on current levels of corporate services staffing."
The department expects to finish the review later this year.
In guidance to interested suppliers, the DEC revealed it is not entirely happy with the siloed operations of its current finance, HR, IT and procurement shared service centres.
“There are multiple (20+) telephone contract points to access the services...Different approaches to services management are undertaken in each function. Service performance and dashboard reporting is performed inconsistently across functions.”
It has already started to make its own moves towards integration by rolling out the same case management platform across finance, IT and HR, but customer service is still being held back by “relatively immature” self service capabilities across the board.
Once it has a clearer picture of the different service delivery models it could potentially adopt, the department expects to seek more expertise from the market to support any service delivery reforms.