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Auditor of State Mary Taylor Launches Shared Services Idea Center for On-line Study of Local Government Partnerships
Web-based Tool Can Help Inspire Cost-Saving Collaboration
Columbus - Auditor of State Mary Taylor today launched the Shared Services Idea Center, an innovative on-line tool for exploring ways local governments and school systems in Ohio are collaborating to share services and reduce costs. The searchable database, with more than 150 examples of shared services partnerships, is the latest interactive feature on the Auditor of State’s website.
“Across Ohio, forward thinking schools and communities are building partnerships with their neighbors to deliver more efficient, cost-effective public services,” Taylor said. “Our Shared Services Idea Center provides an important, web-based tool to help community leaders study successful partnerships already underway in Ohio and to inspire their own ideas for offering quality services at a lower cost.”
The database powering the Shared Services Idea Center, developed in cooperation with Kent State University’s Center for Public Administration and Public Policy, pulls together information provided by local governments, school systems and other community organizations in Ohio as well as data from other trusted sources. This information can be searched by county or by a number of partnership categories, including economic development, fleet management, public safety, technology and others. Entities are encouraged to add or update information or submit a new project not currently listed within the database.
“Local governments have critical service responsibilities, but the ability to carry them out is increasingly challenged in today’s fiscal climate. Utilizing shared services has resulted in cost savings and improved sustainability in a number of communities in Ohio, and this new on-line tool has the potential to facilitate even more collaboration at all levels of government,” said Lake County Commissioner Daniel Troy. Troy is co-chair of the Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration, formed to study shared services and other cost-saving strategies for local governments to effectively collaborate and operate more efficiently.
“With this new Shared Services Idea Center, the Auditor of State’s office has taken a major step toward fulfilling one of our commission’s recommendations, that is, the creation of a clearinghouse of information on joint purchasing and other shared services for citizens and public officials,” Troy said.
In addition to the Shared Services Idea Center, interactive features on the Auditor of State’s website include a searchable database of all state audits conducted since 1996, a Stimulus Tracker detailing the use of federal Stimulus Funds in Ohio and a Fraud Center with information on cases of public-sector fraud investigated by the Auditor of State.
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