Shared Services Reforms

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Governor Patrick    FY2012 House 1 Budget Recommendation:
    Issues in Brief

    Deval L. Patrick, Governor
    Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor


The delivery of core public services is the primary mission of our government.  To meet the consumer demand for their respective programs and services, agencies are constantly searching for ways to streamline administrative and operational functions. Entering a fourth straight fiscal year of challenging budget climates, the quest for greater efficiencies is more critical than ever.

In House 1, Governor Patrick continues to advance “shared services” as a model to further generate administrative savings. Shared Services reflect the consolidation of administrative functions that are common across departments. In this year’s budget Governor Patrick will require that each Secretariat implement certain “Administrative Innovation Programs” (AIPs). Secretariats will be directed to employ one of several structured models designed to consolidate administrative tasks, capture associated savings and, reallocate those savings to activities to avoid reductions to programs or services. AIPs are designed to yield both immediate and long term savings and will assist agencies to manage administrative accounts with reduced funding.

Many agencies have individually begun to adopt shared services models to maximize associated efficiencies. The intent of the Administrative Innovation Program is to formalize these gains and to create uniform opportunities elsewhere in state government.  Specific support areas in which AIPs may be readily implemented are:

This is a diagram showing the benefits of the Shared Services model.

The Administrative Innovation Program has the following objectives:

The AIP framework will be introduced by way of Executive Order.  The E.O. will direct Secretariats to reorganize their administrative business practices in a manner that will promote the AIP objectives. In those instances where legislation is needed, language will be drafted authorizing Secretariats to achieve the stated ends. 

Service models will provide Secretariats the tools necessary to reassign and / or consolidate support personnel and to standardize administrative functions and transactions. Each secretariat will be directed to specify which “tools” – or model – they intend to implement and to file an implementation plan with the Executive Office for Administration and Finance (ANF) by March 2011. 

Examples of the types of arrangements that are envisioned under the Administrative Innovation Program include:

The Executive Order will also specify the composition and role of an Administrative Innovation Governance Council.  Comprised of the Comptroller, State Purchasing Agent, Commissioner of DCAM, Undersecretary of ANF, and representatives from each secretariat, the Council will:

FY12 Initiatives

Licensing Shared Services

The Governor’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposes legislation that will allow state agencies to contract with one another for the provision of licensing services.  This will not only create administrative efficiencies but also better customer-service outcomes for the residents of the Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth has more than 30 departments, boards and agencies issuing more than 400 different types of licenses, registrations or permits.  Generally, these licenses fall into the following categories:

For a relatively small number of agencies, like MassDOT’s Registry Division, providing licenses and registrations is a key component of what they do.  For a number of other agencies, it is not.  The administration of about 200 licenses is already consolidated into the Department of Professional Licensure.  While consolidation of all licensing functions into one mega-licensing agency might provide the greatest administrative efficiencies for these activities, it may also jeopardize the relevant public safety or public health expertise associated with, for example, firearms or health care facility licensure.  Instead, House 1 proposes to allow agencies to contract with one another to create efficiencies through shared service licensing administration consolidation, while retaining the professional expertise and judgment of the responsible agency.  The contracting agency would remain responsible for the substantive decision-making associated with the licensing or registration programs, but could engage a counterpart agency to utilize their staff and systems to process the applications and associated fees more effectively and efficiently.  State agencies have also independently developed systems and software separately to perform licensing functions, leading to very different outcomes about the availability and efficiency of on-line transactions. 

One immediate example of the benefits of licensing shared services is between MassDOT’s Registry Division and the Executive Office for Environmental Affairs (EEA) licensing of boats.  By taking advantage of expanded ability to contract licensing services, EEA can contract the boat licensing function with the Registry.  Currently consumers need to go to separate locations to register their boats and their boat trailers.  This consolidated licensing approach will not create efficiencies by having the Registry administer licensing functions for boats, but will create one-stop service delivery for consumers.  The Executive Office for Administration and Finance will perform a licensing inventory and make recommendations for additional licensing shared service opportunities.

Prepared by Lori Hindle, Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
For more information contact: (617) 727-2040