Shared concerns: Browne Jacobson's Richard Barlow looks at the implications of recent research into shared services in the fire service, and how the shared agenda will affect the service in the future.(Risk Management)

AS EVERY PUBLIC SERVANT knows, Sir Peter Gershon's much vaunted review of public service efficiency recommended, in 2004, annual efficiency savings of 2.5 per cent for 2005-8, rising to three per cent for 2008-11. The Gershon Review, along with the Lyons report on local government finance, focussed on the opportunity to realise improvements by joining up back office functions.

Sir David Varney, Senior Advisor on Service Transformation, recommended last year that efforts should be made to save government, citizens and businesses time and money by integrating frontline public service delivery.

The reaction among some parts of the Fire Service has been to wonder what role integrating technology platforms can possibly play in putting fires out in the 'real world'. …

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