Citizens in Offaly to benefit from further efficiencies in local government

With major efficiencies and savings already achieved, Offaly Local Authorities is among the local authorities that are now leading the reform agenda with an extensive programme of shared services to enhance the services available to citizens and businesses, while also delivering further savings, according to a report by the County and City Managers’ Association (CCMA).

With major efficiencies and savings already achieved, Offaly Local Authorities is among the local authorities that are now leading the reform agenda with an extensive programme of shared services to enhance the services available to citizens and businesses, while also delivering further savings, according to a report by the County and City Managers’ Association (CCMA).

The Interim Report of the Local Government Efficiency Review (LGER) Implementation Group by the CCMA shows that €830 million in financial savings have already been delivered at local government level between 2008 and 2012 through efficiency gains and reductions in expenditure and staff numbers.

Importantly, Offaly County Manager Pat Gallagher points out that these savings were achieved while maintaining front line services. This reform process is continuing with an ambitious programme of shared service projects across the 34 local authorities.

In total, between 2008 and 2012 Ireland’s local authorities collectively have achieved €830.3 million in savings, far exceeding the target of €511 million set by the Local Government Efficiency Review in 2010. (See attached summary of CCMA report)

“These savings were mainly achieved through significant efficiency gains, with payroll costs similarly substantially reduced. Offaly Local Authorities have already reduced its staffing numbers by 25% between 2008 and 2012, commented Mr Gallagher.

“The focus of all local government reforms is to maximum efficiencies while minimising impacts on front line services and supporting local enterprise. Our focus in Offaly Local Authorities is no different. Commercial rates have not been increased and efficiencies through changed worked practices, additional shared services and depot rationalisation have delivered much needed savings.

“Offaly Local Authorities commitment to the Government Reform Agenda is clearly seen by it’s contribution to the achievements outlined in the CCMA report and this reform process will now enter its second stage,” he added.

The sharing of services across the local government sector holds enormous potential not only for the delivery of cost savings and efficiency gains but of actually enhancing the quality and range of services available to citizens and business.

Mr Gallagher stated, “Offaly Local Authorities will continue to work with our partner Local Authorities across the sector to deliver on this.” As an example of a Shared Service initiative, Offaly County Council is now the National Waste Permit Office.

“Local government is a progressive, cohesive sector that is leading and delivering reform. The success to date has been achieved by the staff of Offaly Local Authorities, it’s unions and management working together to create greater efficiencies. However, this is an ongoing process and we will continue to implements the policies and changes necessary to deliver first class services at minimal cost,” he concluded.