The Office of Shared Services (OSS) has been decommissioned by the West Australian Government in response to a report from the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA).
It was disbanded as the full, independent review of the OSS showed a blowout in costs, significant delay in completion time and dissatisfaction from the government departments on the quality and level of services provided. The WA government will now start the process of progressively closing it down.
“The cost of the project today has been $444 million compared to the original estimate of $82 million. It was meant to save $57 million a year thereafter. It is simply failing to produce what it promised,” WA State Government Premier, Colin Barnett, said at a press conference.
According to Barnett, the entire process is going to be expensive, time consuming and complex and will take from a few months to a year to be complete.
“I want to reassure public servants that the payroll will continue and we will maintain all the service systems in the department. But progressively, the services done through the OSS will be moved back into the various agencies and departments,” he added.
Minister of Commerce, Simon O’Brien, will be responsible for the decommissioning process, salvaging what is possible from it and maintaining services.
The body was initially established by the previous government to centralise corporate services of 150 government departments and agencies – including finance, human services, payroll and procurement.
Late last year, the premier placed a halt on other agencies going into the OSS.