Minister Howlin announces Government approval for the drafting of National Shared Services Office Bill

Issued 7 September 2015

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin T.D., today (7 September 2015) announced that the Government has approved the drafting of the National Shared Services Office Bill 2015.

On welcoming the decision Minister Howlin stated:

“The Government’s decision to approve the General Scheme of the National Shared Services Office Bill 2015 marks a significant step towards achieving the Government’s vision for Shared Services. Shared Services is one of 25 actions within the Public Service Reform Plan, aimed at delivering maximum benefit in the use of public funds, being implemented by Government.”

The National Shared Services Office (NSSO) was established on an administrative basis within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to deliver Shared Services within the Civil Service and set standards and oversee the implementation of Government policy for shared services across the Irish Public Service.

Shared Services is the provision of common corporate services to a number of organisations by an independent service provider that previously were carried out by each organisation separately. Shared services reduces the duplication of effort by consolidating transactional functions, such as Finance, Payroll and Human Resources, that enables quicker access to data and improved data quality through increased standardisation, specialisation, automation, and control.

The proposed legislation will be submitted by the Minister to the Oireachtas Committee for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform for pre-legislative scrutiny.

This Bill provides for the establishment of the National Shared Services Office as a separate Civil Service Office, under the aegis of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. 

The essential features of the Bill are:

•        Establishment of the National Shared Services Office

•        Appointment of a Board

•        Appointment of a Chief Executive Officer who will act as Accounting Officer for the NSSO

Minister Howlin noted that:

“Shared Services is a key enabler in helping us deliver better services to more people. The intention of this Bill is to continue to build capacity and flexibility in the way we currently operate and take advantage of the latest innovative technologies and methods for running back office service delivery.”