Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (211)

Michael Harty

Question:

211. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost in capital or rental terms and the staffing costs to establish and maintain on a yearly basis the payroll shared services centre for the education and training boards in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15; if the facility will be operated through central funding only; if not, the alternative funding mechanism to be deployed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49950/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Among the priorities identified in my Department’s Education and Training Sector Shared Services Plan 2017-2020 is the consolidation of the individual payroll functions of all 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) to one shared pay centre. This centre has been established at the Department’s Education Shared Business Services (ESBS) offices in Blanchardstown, Dublin. As part of a wave migration strategy the ESBS operationalised payroll shared services for three ETBs in 2019. 2020 will see the migration of payroll operations of seven ETBs to the centre. Payrolls of the six remaining ETBs will be migrated in 2021.

The business case for the establishment of the ESBS Centre and the introduction of ESBS ETB Payroll Shared Services estimated that the total cost of processing payroll alone was approximately €6.6 million per annum in ETBs, including staff costs, overheads and technology costs. That business case further estimated the cost for implementing the shared payroll model at approximately €16.5 million. When fully operational, and providing payroll and related services to all 16 ETBs, it is envisaged that annual savings compared to existing annual costs will be in the region of €1.8 million per annum. Payback for the investment is expected in 8 years from the full commencement of ESBS-ETB payroll shared services. The shared services model is being used to facilitate and enable ETBs to further focus on their core education & training functions. The project will also yield significant non-financial benefits including improved efficiency, consistency and service delivery.

The project costs for the development of ESBS ETB Payroll Shared Services are being be incurred by my Department. Once fully established, the ESBS Centre operational costs will be shared by the sixteen ETBs for whom the ESBS Centre will be delivering this Payroll and T&S shared service. A detailed methodology for the apportionment of the costs associated with the ongoing running of ESBS ETB payroll shared service will be developed and agreed through consultation between the ETBs and my Department. This will be included in the Service Management Agreement which is entered into between each ETB and the ESBS in respect of the provision of payroll shared services.