Federal Manager's Daily Report

Despite efforts dating to the Reagan administration to expand use of shared services among agencies, the government remains well behind the private sector with only a few success stories such as shared payroll services, a report has said.

Many agencies still are hampered by “distributed and disconnected procurement, financial, and other business processes,” said the report, issued by the National Academy of Public Administration and the Senior Executives Association, based on seminars they conducted last year.

Findings included that: “continuous high-level political and career leadership support must be maintained across all phases of implementation”; “the voice of the customer is often missing when shared services frameworks are developed”; “there is a lack of a mission focus and performance measures that should tie shared services frameworks to improvements in mission delivery”; and “best practices and lessons learned from industry and government have not been institutionalized in agency migrations to shared services.”

Also, “innovations in shared services that are revolutionizing the private sector, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data analytics are at their infancy in the federal government”; “the federal shared services marketplace should provide greater opportunities for commercial service providers to bring investment, scale, and innovation to better meet customer needs”; and “shared services is best implemented when the existing workforce is reskilled or retrained to derive optimal value from the initiative.”