Shared Service Agreements: Overcome Challenges, Improve Services

Shared Services

Shared Services: Overcome Challenges, Improve Services

  • Objective 1: What are shared services?
    • An approach or arrangement by which two or more municipalities
      address municipal service delivery. Shared services approaches
      vary in complexity and intensity. Shared services can be formal or
      informal, involving inter-municipal agreements or “handshake”
      agreements without exchange of dollars for services provided.
  • Objective 2: Overview of the shared services study process.
  • Objective 3: Ten step process for shared services arrangements.
  • Objective 4: Keys to success.

Shared Services Agreements

Shared Services and Consolidation of Services: A highly integrated
approach to restructuring government services. Presents both major
opportunities and challenges

  • Enhanced capacity to deliver needed services
  • Expansion of geographic reach of services
  • Less competition for funding resources to support municipal services
  • Integrating municipal cultures into productive and efficient partnerships
  • Correctly estimating the time, effort, and financial resources required to
    reach operational stability
  • Shared service can be accomplished through intermunicipal agreements
  • Consolidation of services may include the elimination of employees and
    potential “loss of identity” and is considered much harder to achieve

Primary Objective:

  • To increase efficiency and effectiveness of local governments
  • To achieve cost reductions based on economies of scale and better
  • To eliminate or minimize duplication of services
  • To share resources and specialized skills
  • To improve service through timeliness, quality and
    cost management of common services
  • To develop a cost effective model that is based on
    best practices, yet remains consistent and
    accountable to the people
  • To focus on services that can be better provided through sharing or
    consolidating than they could by individual agencies

Key Questions:

  • What are the driving forces for collaboration?
  • Who will the partners be now, and in the future?
  • What are the ambitions of the partnership?
  • What services and processes are within your scope?
  • What collaboration model is preferred? (i.e., shared services
    agreements, functional consolidation, full consolidation,)
  • What are the potential barriers and roadblocks?
  • Where will the shared service be housed?


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