Top 6 Reasons Why Local Authorities Should Micro Outsource

UK government funding of local authorities is being severely cut. Micro outsourcing can help local authorities bridge this funding gap. But micro outsourcing offers more than just cost savings. This article describes the top 6 reasons why local authorities should micro outsource.
 
What are the UK government’s local government plans?

As part of the Coalition Government’s deficit fighting measures, it announced that local government funding would be reduced by 28% over four years. In 2011-12, 9.9% would be cut with a further 7.3% cut in 2012-13.

The Local Government Authority, which represents councils in England and Wales, has calculated that the real cut in 2011-12, once the police grant was excluded, was closer to 12.1%, meaning that central government funding for council services was being reduced from £28.3bn to £24.9bn.

What does this mean?

In short, local authorities are being challenged to provide the same quality of frontline services, e.g., domestic waste collection, but with much less money from the Government. To bridge this £3.4bn funding gap, local authorities are exploring various measures that could help them reduce their costs. Could micro outsourcing be one such measure?

What is micro outsourcing?

Micro outsourcing, or micro sourcing, allows organisations, e.g., small and medium-sized enterprises, public sector bodies and third sector organisations, to outsource work to highly skilled freelance workers or independent businesses (service providers) based locally, nationally or anywhere across the globe.

This is distinct from traditional outsourcing where organisations engage in mega deals over several years with global outsourcers for multi-million or more contract values.

Why should local authorities micro outsource?

Micro outsourcing shares many of the benefits of outsourcing but also offers some new ones, too. The following describes the top 6 reasons why local authorities should micro outsource:

1. More efficient processes

In common with outsourcing, micro sourcing enables organisations to gain process efficiencies and increased effectiveness, as activities and processes are performed by service providers with specialist skills, know-how, best practices and up-to-date technology & equipment.

2. Delivers cost savings

Micro outsourcing reduces overhead costs and capital expenditures. For example, by micro outsourcing, an organisation could save on not only salary costs but also pension and other benefit costs. With a reduced headcount, other cost savings could include office space and equipment costs, which has a positive effect on an organisation’s cash flow.

3. Deployed resources are competitively priced

With micro outsourcing, service providers bid for your jobs. This ensures that your costs truly reflect the service provided. The process could be likened to eBay. However, unlike with eBay, the price you pay goes down rather than up!

Thus, local authorities are able to deploy competitively priced resources, sourced locally, nationally or globally, after considering not just price but also other factors, such as the expertise and location of the service provider.

Note. The deployment of competitively priced resources could potentially provide cost savings of between 50 and 70%.

4. Skills can be accessed “on-demand”

Many organisations cannot afford to employ certain specialist skills or need certain skills only on an irregular basis. In this cost-conscious post-recession period, organisations have become even more reluctant to employ underutilised resources. Micro outsourcing allows organisations to “plug in” expertise on-demand.

5. Enables organisational focus

In business, it is generally accepted that organisations do best when they focus on the core activities that give them a competitive advantage. This is no different for local authorities. By micro outsourcing non-core activities, a local authority could use more of its resources, e.g., management, staff and capital, on value-adding activities.

6. Allows relatively small duration or cost jobs to be outsourced

Organisations usually benefit from outsourcing, if they are prepared to enter into a multi-year agreement and can afford the multi-million pound fees. With micro outsourcing, service providers can work on jobs that might require only a few months work or only just a few days. Moreover, “deals” might be relatively small and valued in the thousands or hundreds of pounds rather than millions.

What can be micro outsourced?

Activities include Website development, IT support, debt collection, bookkeeping and accounts preparation, report writing, translation, payroll, clerical work, budget forecasting, data entry and training. As can be seen, outsourced jobs can cover a wide range of business activities and tasks.

How to get started?

There are a number of sites where you can submit your jobs. Well-known sites include careerbuilder, jobs.nhs, jobs.tes, mybirminghamjobs, jobseekers (jobcentreplus) and vacancycentral. You can also tweet your jobs or post them on LinkedIn. However, such sites do not specialise in providing a service for micro sourced jobs or for freelancers. Nonetheless, they do provide a large pool of CVs, which can be searched after payment of a fee.

There are, however, specialist sites. On such sites, you will be able to search for candidates, as with job boards, but you will be presented with freelancer services and not CVs, which can include irrelevant work experience and skills. You will also be able to submit your jobs, indicate private jobs that only invited service providers can bid on and interact with providers before inviting them to bid. Submitted jobs will receive real-time bids, and you and your chosen provider will be able to track work progress through the agreed milestone plan.

Summary

With reduced funding from central government, local authorities have been challenge to find effective ways to deliver existing front-line services without raising local taxes, such as council tax and business rates. Micro sourcing provides an effective way not only to reduce back office costs but also to improve the efficiency and focus of local authorities.

Copyright 2011 by Peter Louis. All rights reserved

Local Governments Layoffs – Property Tax Receipts, Foreclosures and Economic Slow Down Takes Toll

As predicted and expected local governments are beginning to trim the fat and that means laying off employees. In markets where housing has taken its biggest bite out of the economy, there is an air of uncertainty. Country controllers, city auditors and local government leadership is trying to find ways to keep things moving and services strong, even with the dwindling of tax receipts from lackluster retail and auto sales, plus slow pays and property tax value re-adjustments.

The City of Phoenix, Arizona is cutting 500 employees now, with more to follow. In state governments we already read about California’s hiring freeze and now Arizona is following suit, they have no choice. Most cities in both California and Arizona anticipate on cutting 5-10% out of their budgets in physical year 2008. That means no new buildings, equipment, hiring and trimming budgets, which will mean laying-off employees.

The States of Nevada and Florida are in similar positions. In Nevada they are watching their receipts hurt due to less travel from California to their casinos in the Northwest part of the state and then huge foreclosure numbers in both Northwestern Nevada and Clark County (Las Vegas), affecting property tax receipts. Las Vegas has enjoyed foreign tourism increases (due to weak US dollar) for hotels, entertainment and gambling. Although car sales are down statewide, the general retail receipts are actually up in Las Vegas, the most populated region of Nevada.

South Florida is in tough shape and small businesses are failing, due to the cascading problems of the housing crisis. Economists speculate that this scenario will be repeated in other high foreclosure housing markets first as we get through the recession. The recession will most likely be announced after it is over, as that is what the Fed and Treasury did last time.

Local Governments are also watching their costs increase as fuel costs have been taking a larger and larger chunk out of their budgets. This is also effecting education due to the costs to run school buses. It appears what has happened is no real surprise, as government generally spends whatever it takes in plus some, growing the bureaucracy incrementally, now with tax receipt income down, they are going to have raise taxes, fines and fees while reducing costs too. Maybe it is time for government to go on a diet? Of course, with increased foreclosures comes more crime too.

Meanwhile, the local governments are providing services to illegal alien and those costs are mounting as well. The challenges are intense and growing, municipalities and county governments are getting hit from all sides, as their income is reduced, their costs have increased and more folks are demanding more services, while crime is increasing too. Things are not looking too pretty right now.

Marketing Idea For Local Government Authorities – Sell Advertising Space on Parking Discs

Local Government Authorities are by no means immune from budget cuts but one way to make the budget stretch further would be to sell advertising space on parking discs.

Many local government authorities in the UK run a parking disc scheme of one kind or another but very few of them make use of the opportunity that this scheme can bring. The British Standards Institute (BSI) specification for parking discs states that the lower portions of the front and back of parking discs may be used for advertising road safety or similar advice. That must definitely cover taxi companies (don’t drink and drive), garages (MOTs, windscreen repair, vehicle maintenance), auto insurance companies, tyre companies and petrol stations.

But what about other businesses who are not directly linked to the auto industry who might want to take advantage of the opportunity to buy some in-car advertising? Well, the BSI specification dates back to 1997 and times have changed. Budgets have been tightened and a bit of leeway must surely be allowed. However, a stickler for the rules could suggest a road safety slogan to a potential advertiser. Let’s say that the company manufactures products for children, so how about – “ABC Co says “Drive Slowly Near Schools”. The advertiser may be a restaurant – “The Royal Hotel says come and enjoy a meal – but don’t drink and drive.”

To convince potential advertisers of the validity of the opportunity presented by parking discs, the authority’s designated officer could quote details from a recent survey. Featured in the May 2008 edition of Promotions Buyer magazine, the results of a survey undertaken by P&MM Source-e showed the value of in-car advertising and marketing opportunities. Over 60% of motorists had recall of branding on in-car promotional goods and nearly half had made purchases from the branded companies. Nearly 95% of respondents said that they believed that branded promotional merchandise increases a company’s brand awareness. These findings offer quite conclusive evidence that in-car marketing and advertising is an area worth exploring.

Every day millions of motorists will take a parking disc from his car door pocket, set the time of arrival and display the raking disc on his dashboard. When the motorist returns to the car, the parking disc is handled again and put back into the door pocket. So the motorist actually handles the product twice and this happens every time that the motorist parks the car. That is many more than a sponsored map, a pen, a sun shield, a sponsored tax disc holder or an ice scraper or any other type of in-car advertising and marketing. In the mean time, of course, scores of people walk past the car where the parking disc – and the advert- are in plain view on his dashboard. That’s an awful lot of potential sightings.

Of course, the local authority might not want to try to sell ad space to an “outsider” but there is absolutely nothing wrong with advertising the authorities own amenities on the parking disc. Sport and leisure facilities could be featured; tourism could be encouraged by promoting local sights, the local museum, for example or places of natural beauty. Local services could be promoted such as alternative forms of public transport or specific campaigns such as energy saving initiatives. Either way, it is an opportunity which should not be passed over.

Parking discs are manufactured and supplied to many local authorities in the UK by Whitney Woods and this company has a good reputation for offering help and advice with a scheme such as this. The company prints several parking discs on one sheet which will allow the local authority to have a few clients. The company features information on parking discs on its website on http://www.popupmailers.co.uk/popup_parkingdiscs.html.

State and Local Government Fiscal Sustainability and the “Trend Gap”

Municipal Pension and Benefit Obligations Contribute to the Trend Gap

The fiscal sustainability of state and local governments in the United States has been a matter of increasing concern for a number of reasons, two of which are outlined below.

First, the rapid growth in state health care costs has exceeded the growth of state government revenue in recent decades. The nominal value of nationwide Medicaid spending grew about 10 percent annually between 1990 and 2004, while state general revenue grew only 6 percent. Consequently, Medicaid has replaced education as the largest state spending category. Medicaid accounted for nearly 24 percent of all state expenditures in 2011, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Second, state and local governments face large unfunded pension and other post-employment benefit (OPEB) liabilities. Unfunded liabilities nationwide are estimated to be around $4 trillion, according to the authors. Creating large demands on revenue, these unfunded retirement benefits are already straining state and local budgets.

Pension and Other Benefit Costs Contribute to 30-Year Growth in Trend Gap

The authors define fiscal sustainability as the long-term ability of state and local governments to provide public services. They then analyze data from several sources and utilize the gap measure to assess state and local fiscal sustainability as it has evolved over the last 30 years. The trend gap measure takes into account the actuarially required contributions to pensions as well as other post-employment benefits, and removes short-term business cycle fluctuations.

The study found that, overall, the nationwide per capita trend pension gap increased during the past three decades, even without considering pension or OPEB costs. The trend funding gap is even larger after adding pension and OPEB funding requirements.

The nationwide per capita trend funding gap without pension or OPEB contributions was already above zero during most of the 2000s, indicating that expenses were outstripping municipal revenue.

The full trend gap, including pension and OPEB obligations, reached over $1,000 per capita in 2010. This means that the revenue-raising capacity of state and local governments fell short of the amount needed to meet public service demand and fulfill long-term obligations by that amount.

The trend pension funding gap results differ from findings in earlier studies conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which showed no clear trend in their measure of operating balance as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the last three decades. The trend gap methodology results in a different conclusion: the nationwide trend municipal pension fund gap as a percentage of GDP increased over time, reaching more than 2 percent of GDP in 2010.

While social insurance and income maintenance programs have been significant contributors to the growth of the trend funding gap, pension and OPEB plans have also become increasingly important in driving up expenditure levels.

In Summary: Trend Gap May Spur Further Corrective Action

To continue to track the impact of these programs on local and state fiscal sustainability, the authors recommend that future studies employ the trend funding gap methodology, contending that utilizing the trend pension gap measure provides a more accurate picture than existing measures of the fiscal sustainability of U.S. state and local governments.

In the meantime, this may serve as yet another warning to state and local government officials that pension and benefit funding requirements will not go away.

May, 2014

ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc. by Mark Johnson provides benefit consulting and advisory services and does not engage in the practice of law.

© ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc.

The Global Crisis – Promoting Local Development and Employment

I am not an economist, but I understand the realities of the challenges that face Africa today due to the negative impact of the global economic crises and will give you an overview on the topic The Global Crises, An African Perspective. There is no doubt that Africa has been worst hit by the impact of the global financial crises and this summit is about brainstorming to find solutions to the unfortunate predicament. If we are looking for solutions, let me share my experiences with you.

Globalisation by every stretch of imagination has some great advantages. Unfortunately it is clear Africa has not benefitted from its noted positives and has instead become rather over-dependent on the developed world, much to detriment of the suffering masses. Africa has been vulnerable for a number of reasons. The first is the lack of national tenacity, accountability and a spirit of patriotic fervour. Africa has been unable to stay united and assertive because a good number of us in leadership positions, rather than uphold ideals that protect the sovereignty of our countries, have fallen to the dictates of our colonial and development partners and of late through their multi-national organisations who come in with promises of employment, capital and infrastructural development.

Sadly these investment opportunities fail to benefit the mass of our people because of the political and economic parasites who find themselves at the helm of affairs in our countries. Corruption is real and if we do not factor this key failure of Africa into our deliberations these next few days and saddle ourselves only with a scientific approach to resolving the effect of the global crises on Africa, we will be doing a great disservice to the continent.

Corruption is a major drawback to any developmental process that our continent embraces. Some of us have created a culture of impunity that allows us a right to employ all manner of methods to fleece our countries of its resources. If we cannot improve on the corruption index each year, on what basis do we cry about the negative effect of the global economic crisis? The soul of some parts of the continent has literally been sold over the 30 to 50 year period that most African countries have been supposedly independent from colonial rule. Ironically most facets of our sovereignty seem to have gone back to our colonial and development partners and some of their corporate entities.

Some of these foreign influences even dictate what political directions we need to take and sadly we have also embraced their cultures with patronizing arrogance. I very much appreciate the fact that we do not live in a vacuum and thus cannot expect to produce everything we require locally but we have become so obsessed with foreign cultures and regard their adoption as a sign of good quality lifestyle. Globalisation has its own dictates. It preaches the free movement of goods and services and decries the imposition of any forms of economic barriers. The assumption is that by so doing all economies will benefit in equal stead.

We know this has turned out to be a nightmare especially for those of us in Africa. And how can we expect there to be an even playing field when there were clear disparities right from the onset. Most of our continent lacks infrastructural development, lacks the ability to transform natural resources into finished products and has never had strong bargaining power in trade. Though we produce cocoa, timber, minerals of all kinds and a considerable amount of oil, we sell ourselves short because sadly foreign interests control even the tapping of these natural resources on their own terms.

Are the changes brought about by globalization taking place on our terms? Have we been able to stem the tide of the brain drain? Are we not accepting globalization to the detriment of our own development and survival? We know most of us have inherent weaknesses in terms of our political relationship with our people. This is what makes us so vulnerable.

When globalization became a catch phrase China, for instance, quickly tapped on her major resource – skilled labour – and proceeded to work hard at manufacturing everything conceivable on the globe. While we suffered the brain drain they ensured that majority of Chinese who trained in the West and other advanced economies returned home to impart that knowledge. Today China is a major economic and military power and is respected across the globe. Within the scope of disadvantages and advantages of globalization we seem to have suffered the most deprivation and this summit tasks you to identify ways of stemming this tide.

One of the major roads to recovery is the institution of mechanisms that will protect the national sovereignty of our countries in terms of economic development. Without clearly laid down mechanisms that outline the scope of operations of investors and the lack of structures that monitor their operations, a lot of these investors who abuse our national interests go unchecked. Most of these investors repatriate the majority of their profits to their indigenous countries leaving us with little capital for re-investment into other viable projects. The developing world needs bold and assertive political, traditional, judicial and corporate leadership that is dedicated to the upliftment of its people.

Fourteen years ago, at the Social Development Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, I challenged the western banks and financial institutions to open their vaults and their books to expose leaders and personalities who had looted the wealth of their countries but were protected by so-called western banking rules of secrecy and confidentiality. At that time, my colleague world leaders gathered there met my challenge with stunned silence. Fidel Castro was the only figure who applauded the challenge.

The negative effect of globalization was a wake-up call. Governments and people across the globe, having felt the crippling effect of the siphoning of their nations’ wealth into foreign and other offshore accounts, the accumulation of wealth in the drugs trade, the financing of terrorism and the buying of political power have now gone after these banks to expose their criminal clients and their loot. If we are able to contain this kind of economic savagery then decentralization and regionalization will provide the way forward in our quest for development.

Decentralisation is a system of power devolution that garners respect and confidence from the people who choose us as leaders. Decentralization allows for governments to share their burden with the ordinary people. This is what has been structured and elevated into what we call local government. Everything possible should be done to encourage local government. It shares the central government’s burden with the people, demystifies what governance is about and brings people in touch with the problems that central government faces. Ample examples are strewn across the continent of governments imposing so-called developmental projects on their people when the priorities of the localities are totally different. During the mid 70s, a government in Ghana spent hard earned resources building a stadium wall when a modern medical facility was the priority project required by the people of the area.

The current global economic and financial crisis, which is the worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, has confirmed what we in Africa have known for a long time – that markets are fickle and that they favour the strongest players. It is now more than ever clear that the International Financial Institutions were wrong to tell African states to adopt a hands-off approach and that this poor advice weakened African economies and put us in a poor position to withstand the current shocks. It is clear now that even in the strongest economies, the efficacy of timely state intervention has been demonstrated. We have seen that the state is not the enemy of development. In Africa more than anywhere else, arguably, we need a strong developmental state that can protect Africa’s right to contribute to the global economy, and not just as suppliers of raw materials or as hewers of wood.

But to do this, we must come together as Africans north and south of the Sahara and build one viable and beautiful political and economic space that can support the creativity and ingenuity and initiative of our diverse and talented peoples. And let us not be afraid of empowering our people. When we apply decentralization appropriately it creates a healthy development climate because the ordinary people claim ownership of policies, projects and programmes and are ready to stomach failures together with government. How many governments are not grappling with expensive public relations exercises to convince people with all sorts of excuses about failed projects? If the decision to implement those projects were not done in a top-down approach but in discourse with the people in a decentralized environment, there would have been no need to waste scarce resources protecting government’s reputation.

In Ghana, we achieved decentralisation by establishing democratically elected District Assemblies and their sub-structures. And through a system of elections and consultative appointments with Chiefs and other opinion leaders 70 per cent of membership was elected while 30 per cent was reserved for appointees who were mainly economically minded intellectuals and professionals whose areas of expertise provided more informed decisions.

Decentralisation and empowering of people puts us as leaders in a position of owing accountability to the people as opposed to demanding accountability from them. Local government today has the potential to deliver on development that satisfies the basic needs and human rights of the people of the developing world, thereby helping to confront the globalization crisis. It has the potential to contribute to the prevention of conflicts related to the demands for good and participatory governance.

Decentralisation also encourages the practice of a higher social sense of responsibility towards hygienic and sanitary conditions thereby preventing serious infectious and contagious diseases. It also allows for a more responsible exploitation of the local natural resources while preventing environmental degradation. Local governments also have the potential to contribute to population management and the reduction of extreme poverty and degradation. Decentralisation, if well implemented serves as a foundation for regionalization. Regionalization as we are all aware allows us benefits of economies of scale, stronger bargaining power and the tapping of resources of member states for the benefit of the entire grouping.

Today the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is one of the strongest regional groups on the continent. It took us ages to get to where we are today but we still do not have the kind of economic integration required to ensure the benefits of economies of scale that will allow us to have one common currency, build factories and tap on each other’s natural resources for a concerted development.

But as stated earlier these steps require courageous leadership and an effective decentralization structure that ensures grassroots participation and ownership of national policies. This is crucial because for integration to succeed the major protagonists must be the people who will participate in the process. Socio-cultural differences on our continent can only be managed if grassroots participants do not feel that their national sovereignty is being given away by central government.

While the world ponders how we must modify this model of development called capitalism, we might consider that now is a good time to emphasise a return to African values and to seriously question the emphasis on the self-interested individual, which is at the heart of the capitalist model and which has brought us to this parlous state of affairs globally. We need a return to community values and a move away from the values of the selfish individual. This is a time to insist that there is still a great deal that Africa can teach the world if we believe in ourselves and value our cultural and spiritual heritage.

Africa has a steep hill to climb in softening the blow of the global financial crises. However if the continent is ready to take the bull by the horns and adopt brave policies that will lift Africa up from the gloom then it will be one part of the battle won.

Thank you.

Make Life Better With Home Phone Service

In the field of communication, the telephone plays an important role and is one of the best inventions. This invention enables anyone to talk to his or her friends and family anywhere, anytime in the world. If your kids are alone at home and you are working away from home, it is very important to be able to give them a call to make sure they are doing well. Due to higher costs of mobile phones, some people avoid to buy them and have them at their residences.

Many people consider a landline phone nothing but an extra monthly bill. Understanding the need of people, the government has assisted by making the costs of prepaid home phone service come down significantly. If you are currently receiving some form of government assistance like Food Stamps (SNAP) or Medicaid, or your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal poverty level, and you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas or Wisconsin, you may be eligible to receive FREE home phone service.

If you are looking for a Home phone provider, you should check your options among providers by finding out about all the costs involved. It is also good to know that with the government assistance, the cost of getting local phone service has gone down significantly. The prices differ from state to state and may start from something as low as $1.95 per month, depending on your qualifications.

Various online providers are offering local phone service along with some additional features like internet connection at discounted prices, unlimited long distance plans, Lifeline government assistance etc. It is also very easy to apply for the prepaid home phone. If you apply for the Lifeline home phone, you can get access to a landline phone at government-subsidized prices. It is not difficult to get an affordable Home phone, if you choose a good and reliable.

Many service providers have promotional offers like free activation, free monthly service, free long distance calls, 911 calling, voicemails etc. You have to check with the service provider for these before you apply for the service. Usually there is no credit check, no deposit, no ID proof required. Further advantages of this Home Phone plan include the basic features such as caller ID deluxe, call waiting deluxe, long distance, 3-way calling, call block, and speed dial.

Public Services on the Move: Mobility and Flexible Working in UK Local Government

This article looks at a trend sweeping the UK public sector currently. Investment in flexible and remote working infrastructure by local authorities is delivering significant cost savings, improved services and added value for money for the general public.

The need for local government to mobilise:

Reduced operating costs – The key result of effective remote and flexible working strategy within any organisation is significant cost savings.

Flexibility – on the move teams need to stay in touch and work collaboratively without the need for frequent return trips to the office.

Accommodation – a desire by local government to reduce as far as possible the overhead of legacy civic buildings. Large numbers of councils currently let or actually own numerous office buildings across the country – which amounts to tied up assets which could – if not required following the adoption of remote working – be sold, producing capital for more prudent use.

External drivers – A combination of UK government initiatives (see projectnomd.com) actively promoting remote and flexible working combined with EU regulation requiring that facilities to provide home working as an option for certain types of work have created a pressing need.

Getting it right

Providing the right resources for remote working staff

It is important to pay focused attention to the real communication needs of the staff being targeted for remote working deployment. A wealth of technology is now available for use by out of office staff, and the temptation is to equip the latest and greatest gadgets for remote workers – whereas the real area that needs to be understood and supported are the business processes and procedural responsibilities being

Meeting remote staff needs

Our TeamR methodology for remote working adoption is focused around ensuring that remote teams have the three key basic needs met. These needs are communication, collaboration and control. Without a clear strategy in place enduring that all three are provided, a remote team will not be effectively deployed and is likely to revert to office based working practices following significant expense, time and effort.

Access to Information

One common issue with all organisation is the distribution of duplicate, unmanaged data. The administration effort of the complexity caused by this duplication of data can itself be overwhelming, and distributes teams just compounds the problem. The approach that we find most effective is to adopt centralised organisational data with secure ‘point of need’ access to it from mobile devices by field workers.

Concerns

Security of public citizen data

There will always be justifiable concern expressed with regards to the security of mobile access solution. These issues can be addressed today though the use of encryption , secure connections and dedicated telephony services, and while it has to be admitted these solutions are not perfect today, this is an area constantly under continuous improvement and review by technology vendors.

Adherence to official business processes

Much of the function of public bodies is run under the guidelines of governmental or legal frameworks. It is important to ensure that workflows being carried out by remote staff still fall subject to due diligence in this regard. The requirement for controls to ensure that the workflow being done within a team is following due procedures could benefit from a work flow automation tool- which segments the whole flow of business down into manageable chunks and orchestrates the flow of information around the team.

Traceability of changes.. Who did what and why?

Audited compliance is becoming an everyday aspect of an increasing number of public service bodies. There exists a legal and institutional need for traceability of individual pieces of work, finalised decisions and formally prepared documents to

Summary:

Remote and flexible working give public sector organisations real opportunities to reduce operating overheads while increasing staff efficiency. The adoption of such practices required thought, planning and expert knowledge in order for them to be effective.

Local, State and Federal Government RFPs: What’s the Difference?

Government requests for proposal or RFPs are contract possibilities for your firm. Even with the tightening of finances all through recent years, the government continue to acquires items and solutions on a substantial scale. Within local, state and federal sectors, 1000s of RFPs are distributed on a daily basis. There are a large number of resemblances in the government RFP operation at the localized, state and federal stages.

As an example, all government organizations are required to hold to rules fashioned to be sure that taxpayer cash is spent properly, RFP deals are not accorded for fraudulent causes, and all businesses (small and big) are granted a fair possibility to release a response to the RFP written agreement. Virtually all state RFPs and localized municipality RFPs moreover share the exact same essential core equipment found within a federal RFP as well as a due particular date and official solicitation bid data(s) submitted by the government company, like forms and instructions crucial for bid distribution. So, what is the change between state RFPs and federal RFPs?

Local Municipality and State RFPs

A request for proposal from a localized or state agency could possibly have a considerably more local target audience of future contractors. Often, a localized government needs to maintain the arrangement for the RFP with a “localized” contractor. The problems may be in finding these localized and state agency RFPs. Just about every localized and state run agency has its unique process of placing the RFP. Agencies will work with their unique website, the paper, a shared system for the district (such as the Michigan Inter-governmental Trade Network or Florida Online Bid System) or a blend to submit RFPs. There are actually no central, government-run online state and local bidding marketplaces. However, a government bid matching service such will put together all of the localized and state RFPs on the net and at the same time present electronic email messages of localized and state RFPs gathering your type and territorial standards.

It is most effective process to always “know” the agency and develop a bond with them in the course of the RFP bid reaction time period. This is specifically accurate for localized and state agencies. A strong rapport with the localized agency soliciting the request for proposal is a must.

Federal Government RFPs

The agencies within the federal government have stricter regulations when soliciting requests for proposal. By law, federal agencies are required to build contracting targets for distinct types of businesses (small businesses, women-owned businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, etc). Federal government agencies should totally adhere to the monetary condition, workforce capacities and monitor record of a prospective contractor. As of October 1, 2001, the federal government agencies should post all procurement opportunities estimated to surpass $25,000 on FedBizOpps, a central data bank of all federal government RFPs. Expert services also gather the details from federal government RFPs enabling your localized, state and federal government RFPs to be centralized and your RFP outcomes to be customized to your product/support categories and location.

Being aware of the resemblances and differences within the government RFP procedure at the local, state and federal levels can make all the difference when publishing your coming bid.

Local Authority Transformation

In light of the coalition government’s stated plans to save a total of £95 billion over 5 years through public sector cutbacks, Local Authorities across the UK are seeking signification service transformation.

With new budgets being set and the ensuing cuts on valuable community programmes taking their toll, the best option for many Local Authorities could be to focus on streamlining their service provision and reducing overall running costs across the board.

A Local Authority transformation could mean saving money without it coming at the expense of your community services or your local taxpayers.

Cutbacks in Local Authority service spending
As of April 2011, some of the most significant spending cuts came into effect in the UK. For many Local Authorities, these have had far reaching effects within the community.

According to a recent report administration spending has been scheduled to reduce by £3.4 billion. Adult Health and Social Care is due to see an overall cut of £1.2 billion and Children’s Services are to face a withdrawal of £819 million in government funding.

In light of changes like these, many Authorities will be asked to reach ever higher standards at even lower cost.

But that’s where this type of transformation comes in. A full review and reform of key services and running costs within councils and communities has the potential to make the inevitable budget-stretch in future months and years an easier task.

By sharing best practice and collating performance management evidence, a transformation for your Local Authority could save a significant amount of spending and safeguard otherwise targeted services within your community.

What to look for in transformation services
Local Authority transformation can be outsourced or undertaken through an interim contract and could make all the difference in your sector. But you have to make sure you’re looking for all the right things, and not just a service that promises the standard.

Whether you choose to outsource your transformation or hire an interim expert, your chosen specialist should offer to work closely within your organisation to implement the changes you need. They should also be prepared to train staff to undertake a revised and improved approach to service provision ongoing so that you can manage your own budgets.

Ideally, your transformation service provider should also be able to ensure that the changes you need take place with the minimal disruption to your daily service provision. Your allowances for time and spend are yours to control and a Local Authority transformation consultant should also be able to respect that, working to your limitations and not imposing their own.

Chris Stoddard on Tiebout’s Local Expenditure Theory

Charles M. Tiebout was an economist who wrote extensively about economic theories but his largest contribution to the field of economics was when he wrote his “A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures” in 1956. Although it is definitely difficult if not impossible to summarize Tiebout’s theories, Chris Stoddard was able to explain at least the most important aspects of Tiebout’s theories through his online article entitled “Charles M. Tiebout: A Pure Theory of LocalExpenditures,1956 By Chris Stoddard.”

Chris Stoddard starts off by explaining what local governments face when dealing with free riders, people who enjoy the benefits or goods of a community without earning the right to, or without contributing to the production of such goods and services. When local governments are faced with high concentrations of free riders, local government expenditure would obviously rise since free riders do not openly help produce or contribute to the community’s welfare. They are just there to maximize the benefits they can get from a specific community.

Mr. Tiebout’s theories then commented on something that can possibly alleviate the free rider problem – voting by feet. Voting by feet basically means people freely choose the communities where they want to live by commuting or migrating from one community to the next, finding the perfect local government system that can provide them with the needs they deem more important than others. If local governments can offer different fruit baskets (services) with varying prices (tax rates), people can choose to move from one local government or community to the next in order to get their money’s worth. With voting by feet, as revealed in Chris Stoddard’s article, people have the option to choose the communities that can best serve their interest and hopefully, the communities they choose can expect something from them in return.

Chris Stoddard was able to point out that Mr. Tiebout’s theories have a couple of assumptions. First, is that people can easily commute from one local government to the next. This means that people are mobile and that there is no or almost no cost for moving. Another assumption, is that there are no spillovers from other communities, meaning communities who produce more service than the others, do not transfer these services to other local government systems. This, in turn, makes giving public services more expensive as more people receive such services.

Although Mr. Tiebout’s paper was a purely theoretical piece, as Chris Stoddard stated in his article, it served as good economic wake up call to local government systems insisting that a political move is needed to solve an economic issue. It showed that decentralized government units offering various services as varying prices can act as regular markets that help lessen if not solve some of the more common problems or issues of society today such as the elevated numbers of free riders. It is interesting to note that Mr. Tiebout’s paper was written in 1956 and after more than half a century, his theories are still able to stand the test of time.