The National Government Service Centre – Has administration become more effective? Read full summary in English
The purpose of this audit has been to investigate whether the Service Centre has made administrative operational support functions taken over from client agencies more effective, and to find explanations for the results so far achieved by the Service Centre. The audit has also aspired to illustrate how agencies that do not subscribe to the services regard their potential for doing so. These viewpoints have been analysed with a special focus on the conditions that applied to the Service Centre when it was formed and the measures taken by the Government and the Service Centre in the first years.
- The survey conducted as part of the audit shows that many agencies do not consider that subscribing to the services of the Service Centre has increased their effectiveness or reduced their administration costs. Many agencies consider that the transfer to the Service Centre has not meant any improvement in effectiveness of the administrative function. Many have found it difficult to achieve internal savings, for example by making staff cuts.
- The agencies' satisfaction with the quality of the Service Centre's services varies. A majority of the agencies are satisfied with the payroll and accounting related services, while they are less satisfied with the eCommerce service.
- The audit shows that the Service Centre has had insufficient conditions for starting and operating its services effectively. The Service Centre Inquiry that preceded the formation of the National Government Service Centre noted that there were major risks that the National Financial Management Authority’s framework agreement procurements for accounting and personnel administration systems could be protracted. The Service Centre has renewed the contract with the supplier until 2018, but the short remaining contract period has meant that the work of transferring agencies to the new payroll system has become resource-intensive for both the Service Centre and the system supplier. The extension of the contract for the older payroll system has forced the Service Centre to raise its fees, which has created discontent among agencies.
- For accounting-related services the current contract situation means that the Service Centre’s ability to operate effective services will not be achieved until some time into the 2020s, since agencies can retain their own accounting systems until 2023.