Shared services—structures for delivery
Produced in partnership with Peter Ware and Angelica Hymers of Browne Jacobson LLP
Shared services—structures for delivery

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Peter Ware and Angelica Hymers of Browne Jacobson LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Shared services—structures for delivery
  • Internal ‘in-house’ shared service structure
  • Multi-authority shared service structure
  • Structures for wider exploitation of a shared service
  • How do you set up a corporate joint venture?

This Practice Note contains information and practical guidance on the available structures for delivery of a shared service.

Internal ‘in-house’ shared service structure


Internal shared services are collaborative arrangements which allow consolidated services to be provided from a central point to more than one department.

It can be advantageous:

  1. where the authority doesn’t want external involvement in their service delivery (whether from another local authority or a private sector entity)

  2. where there is only a need for small scale economisation

Savings can be generated from increased availability of office space, decrease in overheads and efficiencies resulting from implementation of common service standards.


There are two possible delivery structures:

  1. a centrally located service―a service that does not operate as an independent department in its own right. For example, centralisation of secretarial support where each secretary is still managed by their original department. This may improve consistency in the quality of services where common service standards are implemented but are not pure shared services because each department maintains its own provision from a centralised location

  2. shared service provision to a number of internal teams or departments―service provision for each department is pooled in a central location and managed independently of the departments served. For example, a shared secretarial support team which works for all internal departments without each department having control of a