The Shared Services Journey

Shared corporate services across the APS is a long-term priority for the Australian Government. The Shared service models help governments and organisations drive productivity increases by reducing system duplication, enabling improved data collation and providing consistent user experiences.

The journey to corporate shared services started with the Shared Services Program in 2015. The Department of Finance has progressed shared services on behalf of the Secretaries’ Board and in consultation and collaboration with APS agencies. More recently Finance led the design of a common corporate technology platform (GovERP) using standardised business processes.

The APS has continually progressed to shared services. Six shared services provider hubs deliver more efficient corporate services to 29 Commonwealth entities, and have increased productivity through increased digitalisation of processes and the adoption of process automation. Over 200 standard business processes have been designed and mapped for use across agencies.

With Australia facing the devastating impacts and disruption of bushfires and COVID-19, the team’s attention adapted to support the Government’s response to COVID and use these lessons (including public service mobility and remote work) to continually refine the focus of GovERP.

While our work through COVID has provided challenges, it has allowed us to take the time needed to lay sound foundations for GovERP implementation.

GovERP applies the Government’s objective of building scalable, secure and resilient data and digital capabilities through repeatable and reusable solutions. It is also consistent with the ‘Delivering for Australians’ commitment to facilitate a world-class APS through common enabling tools and services to support efficiency, mobility and collaboration.

The 2021-22 Budget provided funding for Services Australia to design, build and operate the GovERP platform and onboard the Service Delivery Office (SDO) and 14 of its clients as the first use case. The Department of Finance retains the strategic policy and governance functions for the Shared Services Program, as well as the SDO which delivers shared corporate services to its client agencies.

This financial year the Shared Services Program remains focused on working together across the APS through cross-government committees, secondments and other whole-of-government engagement activities.

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