Abstracts: June 8th, 2007

This report from the Improvement and Development Agency summarises findings
from 16 pilot schemes which make up the Front Office Shared Services
project. The project is sponsored by The Local Government Association,
Communities and Local Government, the Cabinet Office and the IDeA.

The project involved a range of local public sector bodies. The overall
objective was to investigate opportunities for delivering more integrated
and efficient services through shared ‘front office’ arrangements such as
one-stop shops, contact centres, web portals and home visiting schemes.

The projects demonstrated the positive impact that close partnership working
can bring to the lives of local citizens and businesses. It typically
brought together a range of different local partners, including business,
voluntary and public sector organisations, to pioneer new models of service
provision to meet the needs of people who live and work in the area. A
number of the front office projects including, North Lincolnshire and North
Somerset, already demonstrate how local public sector partnerships can
deliver services that are better aligned to meet the needs of their local
communities.

This work on shared services has already helped both to improve the
availability and range of these services and to identify savings for the
local authorities working together. The challenge now is to extend this
approach to a wider set of organisations and activities, including the real
estate held by different public service agencies.

The report is available at: http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/aio/6414743