Government Holds Back on Shared Services


New research released today by Accenture suggests that government is holding back on shared services. The company surveyed more than 3,000 citizens and 130 public service leaders on whether they support shared services, and while many individuals have embraced the sharing economy, few in the public sector are onboard.

Citizen support for government using a variety of sharing economy services ranges from 73 percent to 87 percent, while around half of public sector leaders surveyed said their organizations are unprepared to leverage such services. When asked about the potential positive impact of sharing economy models on government, both citizens and public sector leaders were generally optimistic and closer in their views, with 62 percent of citizens and 66 percent of public sector leaders agreeing that greater government engagement in shared economy activities would improve “citizen satisfaction with government.”

The research is notable as the federal government has recently released guidance on moving more of public sector onto a shared services model. On May 4, the Office of Management and Budget released a new memo that laid out the path forward for shared services. The memo codified many of the projects listed in OMB’s initial shared services plan, which was released in October of last year. Both documents can also be used as guideposts for state and local governments as they consider ways of streamlining resources.

OMB has also created a new set of vendor metrics called ProviderStat, which government agencies can use to measure the effectiveness of new procurement arrangements arising from the shared services model. Still, it will be difficult to move the needle on shared services without legislative and executive buy-in at all levels of government.

“Digital technologies are empowering people to take a modern approach to the old-fashioned idea of sharing, and we are seeing strong growth in businesses delivering services without owning the underlying assets, such as vehicles, facilities, and equipment,” said Daniel T. London, group chief executive of Accenture’s Health & Public Service operating group of the possibilities of shared services. “These sharing – or ‘We’ economy – models offer government innovators some exciting new pathways to be even more cost-effective while enhancing citizen perceptions, engagement and satisfaction with government.”