‘Cheap country’ – outsourcing as a formula for costly administration
The sole reduction of the number of jobs will not help to reduce the costs of functioning of the clerical system and the ‘cheap country’. Despite this fact, wise ‘slimming’ of the administration with simultaneous increase of its efficiency is possible. Another approach to process and information management is an idea for this to happen. A part of the tasks which are realized within obligations of the state in relation to the citizens could be as well performed by private companies – in a cheaper, faster and more effective way. It is even more true taking into account the fact that this model has been successful for years in a lot of countries of the Western Europe.
A measurable indicator of the level of effectiveness of management in the organization is the situation of archives and file repositories. Commissioning handling of the archive to an external company only in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister could result in even 80-percent savings. In 2011, this service and maintenance of document warehouse cost PLN 516 thousand. As at the end of the year, 2,760 current meters were stored there and during the whole year almost 4 thousand of archive units were provided. The price for an analogical service, realized in the period of one year, on the commercial market amounts only to PLN 75 – 100 thousand.
Similar disproportions are visible also on the example of the Ministry of Economy. Almost 6 thousand kilometers of current files are stored in the archive at this moment. With the annual level of provisions within the limits of 4 thousand applications, the Ministry spent almost PLN 510 thousand on handling of the archive. In case of commissioning this service to an external company, its costs would remain within the limits of PLN 150 -200 thousand which results in savings at the level of 60 – 70 percent.
The British government has already become convinced of the benefits resulting from outsourcing. According to the data of ‘Financial Times’, only in 2012 the British central administration spent £4 billion on outsourcing contracts, which is almost PLN 21 billion. On the Isles, not only the emergency number 999 will be entrusted to the external companies for management, but also such fields as police services or soldier training. The greatest clients are the British Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defense and the Department for Work and Pensions.
In Poland, the modern outsourcing solutions have been already used by the Chancellery of the President. In 2005-2006, ArchiDoc from OEX Group digitized 7.5 million documents and processed 170 thousand frames of microfilms stored in the archive of the President. They also included such untypical or damaged materials like for example: carbon papers, books, delicate thermal paper or handwritten notes. After their scanning, the sets were entered to the IT system of the Chancellery of the President and to electronic circulation which facilitated searching through the archives and shortened the time of reaching the information. What is more important, implementation of the project by an experienced outsourcing company at the same time ensured maximum level of safety of the entrusted documents, not deviating from the standards guaranteed by the state archives.