DORSET County Council is making progress with efforts to save more than £1.5million by transforming its back office functions.

Members of the council’s cabinet received an update on its review of support services.

The review aims to look at the way areas such as human resources, legal, IT, customer services and business support are delivered in the future.

A report considered by the cabinet stated that the work so far has investigated two options to deliver support services in the future.

The first involves an in-house option, combined with joining or forming a local authority shared service, and the second would be recruiting external partners to work with the council.

The report stated that the latter would require around £60,000 to £100,000 in legal fees and, although this would be offset by future savings, is not considered to be the right option at the current time.

It adds: “Instead, it is recommended that developing a programme for the council in order to deliver a minimum of £1.5million of savings by 2017/18 is taken. The council can then consider what it wishes to do as a next step to deliver further savings after that date.”

Cabinet member for corporate development Robin Cook told members that in light of the latest government settlement and the savings required by the council this preferred options was clearly the way forward for the authority.

Cllr Jill Haynes said the overhaul of back office operations was long overdue and stressed the need for a strict timeline to be set and kept to.

She said: “We have been looking to deliver changes within our support services for far too long and we don’t seem to be getting much going forward.

Council leader Robert Gould said the overhaul of support service delivery was vital to the future direction the council was taking.


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