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Shared Services
for Government

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was launched in March 2021, with the aim of modernising the back office of government.

This includes replacing legacy systems which are facing end of life in terms of contract support and technology; it contributes significantly to Civil Service modernisation and reform.

Every year, government spends around £525 million on shared services. This provides business-critical services like HR, finance, payroll and procurement for over 500,000 civil servants, 230,000 military personnel/reservists and one million veterans.

The Strategy replaces 286 siloed departmental-based systems with five enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

“I’m proud to be leading the Shared Services Strategy for Government. In partnership with our five shared service centre clusters and the functions, we are improving the working lives of all civil servants with modern systems and processes that harness the power of data and automation.”

Nathan Moores

Director, Shared Services for Government

Key aims of the strategy

  • to improve the user experience for civil servants
  • offer the taxpayer better value for money
  • provide the Civil Service with insights and information management tools that
    enable the operation of future-proofed, flexible systems and services

Achieved so far

Most of the systems that run back office tasks across the Civil Service today are approaching end-of-life, are overly expensive to maintain, and many have contracts that are due to expire soon.

Implementation of the Strategy so far has seen 18 departments now working in five clusters to create five shared service centres (SSCs). The Strategy also delivers improved process transformation, commercial convergence and greater interoperability between departments and systems.

The role of Shared Services for Government

The Cabinet Office Shared Services team is the policy lead for shared services in government, working across departments to make it easier for civil and public servants to use platforms for HR, finance and payroll.

Our ambition is to deliver the vision to free up Civil Servants to focus on what they do best: engaging with, and delivering for citizens.

As the Strategy moves from planning into delivery, we are supporting clusters and functions to develop and implement change as a strategic delivery partner, whilst continuing to provide key assurance and alignment to the key strategic priorities for Ministers.

Forming Clusters

When departments were grouped together, existing relationships and departmental characteristics were taken into account (i.e. technology, size/scale, complexity, service requirements, historic/current investments).

There are now 18 departments working together in five clusters that will form the Shared Service Centres (SSCs):

  • Defence (MOD, civilian and military staff, veterans)
  • Overseas (FCDO, staff overseas)
  • Synergy (Defra, DWP, HO and MoJ)
  • Matrix (DESNZ, AGO, CO, DSIT, DfE, DBT, DCMS, DHSC and HMT)
  • Unity (HMRC, DfT and DLUHC)

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Explore other exciting areas of work within Government People Group.

Key aims of the strategy

The Shared Services for Government Design Principles provide a framework of what good looks like, when implementing shared services programmes. 

Platforms, Data and Interoperability

We’re making joining, collaborating, and moving around the Civil Service more seamless.