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Defence Sector Group DSg/BB/10/14


26 March 2014                                                                                            


To:      Branch secretaries  

Cc:      Group Executive Committee (GEC)


Saving our Shared Services

Joining in the conversation

We note with interest the latest update on the review of corporate shared services, issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which details that: "our main focus for the remainder of the study will be on keeping DBS together, building on the achievements already made, and examining what if any further functions it might be sensible to bring in. We will also be thinking about whether we can reduce the costs of corporate services by simplifying MoD's policies.  And we are continuing to examine different models for partnership with the private sector, recognising that 'one size may not fit all' and that the nature and extent of any such partnerships may well vary in different parts of the DBS business".


Our union believes that the DBS model has been a success, due mainly to the civil servants working hard within it to deliver challenging targets whilst maintaining a quality service to the department.  We therefore welcome the commitment to keep DBS together, build on its achievements and expand.  We are also prepared to work with the department to see how efficiency and effectiveness could be further developed.


However we have a serious problem with the idea that the organisation could then be fragmented again into different parts to allow more than one partnering model to be applied.


Our union's position is absolutely clear; corporate shared services should be provided in house and by a single entity.  This position has been endorsed this week by all of the MoD's trade unions, who are equally concerned about the impact of potential fragmentation and privatisation of DBS on the service received by their members.


The MoD Corporate Shared Services review team have asked for input from staff across the department and we would encourage members to take the department up on that request by responding to:  We would suggest that, whilst expressing their own concerns, members might like to include the following points in their response:

  • Despite your personal assurances I am concerned that the privatisation of DBS is predetermined and that the current partnering arrangement with Serco/Accenture could simply be expanded.
  • I am concerned that the key driver for the review is cost cutting and not service delivery.
  • I would like the department's assurance that no senior member of staff, civilian or military will be allowed a business appointment with either the current management partner or any potential future bidder to personally profit from their business knowledge.
  • The provision of corporate shared services for the Ministry of Defence should be retained in-house as it directly contributes to defence capability and will from a critical underpin to deliver the Whole Force Management concept.
  • MoD data and the personal data of staff must not be open to offshoring.
  • The current DBS management partner contract should be amended to exclude efficiency savings as a contract funding option as capability and capacity could be removed for profit as the contract winds down.
  • The achievements of DBS under the management partner arrangements could have been achieved by the civil service if the department had made funding available on a spend to save basis.

Please could you copy your response and any reply received to: for information.

Getting more involved in our campaign

What you can do now to help us:

  • If you want corporate shared services to remain in-house you need to help us to recruit the non-member sat next to you. Recruitment forms and other material is available to help you from your branch, or is available to download from our website:
  • Join the PCS shared services Facebook page for up to date information:
  • Send the attached model letter to your MP, expressing your concerns over the possible privatisation of MoD's shared services.
  • Ask your MP to oppose the off shoring of data by logging on to:
  • We will be leafleting all workplaces with DBS members over the coming weeks and also holding meetings to update members on developments. Please come along and help us spread the word to all who will be affected.
  • Keep your union contact details up to date, so that we can keep you informed of developments:


Keeping in touch

We have set up an electronic distribution list to keep interested members engaged in our campaign. To get involved, please send an email to: detailing where you work and a personal email address so we can add you.


Ragesh Khakhria

Group Secretary



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