A new benchmarking service has launched to enable public and independent sector organisations to regularly assess how well their corporate services are performing compared with peers.
Jointly developed by publc sector consultancies Socitm Consulting and SOLACE Enterprises, the service – known as Benchmarking Corporate Services – is partly based on the UK audit agencies’ Value for Money indicators.
It offers a view of performance in five key areas – finance, HR, ICT, estates management and procurement – together with a survey of stakeholders’ subjective views of service quality.
BCS is aimed at in particular at central government departments, police forces, health trusts, housing organisations, emergency services, passenger transport executives and local authorities.
According to Socitm Consulting’s Doug Maclean, the new service will offer senior managers in the public sector a completely new view of how well their organisations’ corporate services are performing, and could be a major factor in driving public sector efficiencies.
“We’ve been benchmarking ICT services for over eight years, and clients come back year after year because benchmarking adds such value," said Maclean.
"Not only can they see positive and negative aspects of their performance compared with peers, they have the best possible factual base for planning improvements to the service."
The service combines objective measures with the subjective views of internal customers, and Maclean said it was striking that "sometimes the facts and people’s perceptions are completely at variance." He said organisations that took the plunge would know exactly where they stood and whether the main challenge was to improve the service or else "educate the customers as to how good it is.”