Shared Services is a service delivery model which aims to enhance service quality and productivity by consolidating and transferring similar tasks or work processes across multiple agencies to a shared services platform. Accountability and running costs of shared services are borne collectively by the participating agencies. They also need to establish clear and concrete performance indicators with the shared services unit to ensure quality and sufficient services are provided.

Shared services are commonly found in back-office services such as information technology infrastructure, human resources and financial management. It can also be adopted for the provision of front-end services such as applications for financial assistance or licence, as well as enquiry and complaint handling services.

Shared services can bring multi-faceted benefits. Through consolidation and rationalisation of resources and work procedures, better economies of scale and enhanced efficiency in service delivery can be achieved. Citizens can also enjoy one-stop services with consistent standards and levels through the shared services unit.

Project: Development of Trade Single Window in Hong Kong

To uphold Hong Kong’s competitiveness in trade in goods and its position as a logistics hub, the Financial Secretary announced in the 2016 Budget Speech the establishment of a Trade Single Window (SW) as a single platform for the one-stop lodging of all trade documents from the trading community to the Government to facilitate trade declaration and customs clearance. A full-fledged SW platform should cater for the handling of at least 51 trade documents (which involve 5 000 data items) and an annual transaction volume of 94 million.

To support the implementation of this mega project, we have been working closely with the SW Project Management Office under the Commerce, Industry and Tourism Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau to conduct a business process re-engineering study and to offer advice on stakeholder engagement and change management. These involve bringing in innovative ideas and practical measures to resolve the complexity across the people, process and technology dimensions when building up the shared platform of the SW.