SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management)
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The Welsh Public Sector takes a collaborative route to operational efficiency through benchmarking

As part of its ongoing campaign to improve services, identify cost reductions and implement the efficiencies, the Welsh Public Sector has contracted for what is believed to be the UK’s largest ever benchmarking exercise. Up to 140 public sector bodies in Wales will be provided with access to the extended Socitm benchmarking service to compare the performance of their HR, Finance, ICT, Estates and Procurement functions against the Audit Agencies’ Value for Money indicators.

Socitm Consulting today announced that the Welsh Assembly Government (acting on behalf of the Public Sector Directors of Finance Network) has commissioned it to deliver extended benchmarking services to up to 140 public sector bodies in Wales, including local authorities, emergency services, education services, NHS services and central government agencies based in Wales. This is believed to be the largest group ever to undertake a common benchmarking exercise in the UK.

Socitm Consulting will be organising the benchmarking of participating organisations’ HR, Finance, ICT, Estates and Procurement functions against the Audit Agencies’ Value for Money indicators. Socitm Consulting experts will consolidate and analyse the raw data collected, publish a series of reports on the various functions, and then work with participants to identify best practice and help identify areas for improvement.

Now in its ninth year, Socitm Consulting’s benchmarking service has become the industry standard in local government; more than half of local authorities use the service to compare their performance against peer organisations. Originally focused purely on ICT services, in recent years the service has been extended into the wider organisation, partly to measure how ICT is actually assisting transformational change, but also to apply the rigorous performance measurement techniques developed for ICT services to other administrative cost centres.

Socitm Consulting’s Consulting Manager Doug Maclean comments: “We are very pleased that the Public Sector Directors of Finance Network, through the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), has asked us to support its efficiency drive. Our benchmarking services enable participants to get independent validation of their performance, compare it meaningfully with peer organisations, and discuss improvement plans with experts. By repeating benchmarking on an annual or biennial basis, public sector organisations can monitor trends, track their improvement trajectory and confirm to their customers that they are committed to a policy of continuous improvement. The Network’s aim to include as many organisations as possible will add extra value to the process and ensure best practice is adopted throughout .”

Christine Daws, Director General Finance, Welsh Assembly Government said: “As Directors of Finance in the public sector we are in no doubt about the scale of the financial pressures ahead, but I am encouraged by the commitment to tackle the challenges together. The combined benchmarking project offers the chance to look not only at performance in each sector, but across sectors, and not just of organisations of one own size, but of varying sizes. It aims to provide insights into alternative approaches which can be shared widely. I firmly believe that by investing in this project the Welsh Public Sector will be better placed to meet the serious challenges ahead.”

Further information

Alan Goodwin, Marketing & Communications Manager, Socitm Consulting; t: 0845 0904 2318, e: alan.goodwin@socitmconsulting.co.uk

Doug Maclean, Consulting Manager, Socitm Consulting; t: 0845 241 2770, e: doug.maclean@socitmconsulting.co.uk

Helen Usher, Head of Finance Leadership and Development, Welsh Assembly Government, e: helen.usher@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Notes to editors

Socitm Consulting (www.socitmconsulting.co.uk) provides strategic management and technology consultancy, project and programme management, benchmarking and interim management support to the public, independent and voluntary sectors. Socitm Consulting helps its clients to develop and update transformational strategies, plan and deliver successful change programmes, build up in-house skill sets and monitor and manage performance effectively.

Socitm Consulting’s ‘Council of the Future’ initiative for local government combines consultancy, training and benchmarking services to assist local authorities to move in manageable but rapid steps to a leaner, more efficient model which delivers more for less.

The Welsh Public Sector Directors of Finance Network was established in 2008 as a way of enabling greater collaboration between public sector bodies based in . As well as regular national and local events, the network has embarked on three cross-sector priority projects. The first is this benchmarking project, the second developing a Finance Leadership Programme tailored for the needs of the Welsh Public Sector, and the third looks at Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Each of these projects is managed by a working group made up of representatives from all parts of the Welsh Public Sector. The work of the Network in improving public services in Wales is being supported by funding from the European Social Fund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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