The government has announced a new drive to improve efficiency in Whitehall by merging back office functions such as HR.
A new cross-government team will promote shared services, with a remit to make large cost savings that can be redirected to the front line.
And when funding is awarded for projects, there will be a presumption that only sharing and joining up delivers value for money.
A shared services director has been appointed to work for government chief information officer Ian Watmore in the Cabinet Office to work with public sector organisations.
John Hutton, speaking in his capacity as cabinet office minister yesterday, said: “If institutions can share front and back office functions like call centres and HR, it will make big savings for tax payers that can be reinvested into the front line.
“Sharing services will mean big changes for the way public institutions work, but those changes will be of huge benefit to public service users and tax payers.”
Hutton is now work and pensions secretary, replacing David Blunkett, who resigned yesterday.