The Treasury is looking at plans to cut the Government’s administrative staff and costs by almost one third with a centralisation of back office services.
Recruiting, IT, finance and “a range of corporate services” in the public sector in offices nationwide are being earmarked for consolidation to save 30 per cent of costs and increase productivity.
This is the sort of thing that makes perfect financial sense to a bunch of economists sitting aroung looking at line items on a budget. Unfortunately, back in mean old reality an IT project that consolidates 250 organisations is likely to cost 250 times as much as any productivity gains you’ll make on the other side.
I think back office centralisation is a pretty good idea for, say, the various Commissions dotted around the capital, but larger departments (DOC, IRD, Corrections, Police) all have unique organisational profiles and wildly different IT requirements.
Maybe they should start with something small – all the websites in the government, say. Move them all onto one standardised platform, take a look at what happens to the budgets and completion times for that one project and then see if they really think it’s a good idea to try something hard like email or databases.
The notion of a hub managed by a single, private multinational company that hosts all of the government’s data is also likely to attract some exciting conspiracy theories.