Collaborating for cost effectiveness : CIPFA reports on “Sharing the Gain”


For clinical commissioning groups and commissioning support services moving to agree Service Level Agreements this summer, this ‘how-to’ guide on developing and running shared public services is one for the week-end reading pile.

Reducing costs via collaborative working is high on the agenda for public service bodies.  “Sharing the Gain” from CIPFA (the leading professional accountancy body for public services) offers advice supplemented by practical tools (via a multiplicity of appendices).

Readers may want to home in on Section 8 “a practical guide to the preparation and use of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in the context of shared services. It will be of interest to those on either the client or provider side who wish to use SLAs as a mechanism (contractual or otherwise) to manage services”

This section covers:

  • Understanding the status of an SLA and what it is designed to cover
  • Drafting a Memorandum of Agreement and Conditions of Agreement
  • Clarifying how to specify work, service levels and pricing schedules
  • Defining quality and performance standards
  • Considering ways of measuring and reporting performance

The guide covers: identifying the drivers for change, assessing readiness for change, understanding the scale of the opportunity, option appraisal, process redesign, the business case, procurement strategy, managing –risk, change, people, governance, technology and legal issues plus developing the service delivery and management framework.

The accompanying online collection of checklists, tools and documents is a rich resource to support the management of shared service and collaboration projects among public bodies – with best practice process designs for finance and related services.

Sharing the gain – Collaborating for cost effectiveness [PDF 2.59MB].  The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, 2010

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