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NSW segregates BusinessLink, ServiceFirst

The New South Wales State Government has no plans to consolidate its existing shared services agency BusinessLink with the new division, ServiceFirst, which the Government quietly set up over the past few months to provide similar services to different agencies.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

The New South Wales State Government has no plans to consolidate its existing shared services agency BusinessLink with the new division, ServiceFirst, which the Government quietly set up over the past few months to provide similar services to different agencies.

Carmel Tebbutt
(Credit: NSW Government)

ServiceFirst's website states it has about 540 staff providing services, including technology offerings, to about 80 agencies within the government. It was created without fanfare over the past few months from the previous CCSU, CSS and Department of Commerce Shared Services branches.

But although the pair have similar mandates, a spokesperson for Commerce Minister Carmel Tebbutt's office told ZDNet.com.au recently there were no integration plans.

"BusinessLink is a separate and distinct business unit within the Department of Commerce. Its charter requires it to provide shared services support to three NSW government human services agencies alone (the departments of Community Services, Housing and Ageing, Disability and Home Care)," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said there was no duplication of services as the requirements of the agencies' respective clients had been structured to meet their needs.

They added ServiceFirst was not part of the state's four-year People First plan, begun in mid-2006, that aimed to reap $565 million in savings from the state's overall technology spend.

The spokesperson said there were no major investment currently proposed for ServiceFirst in the 2008/09 financial year, with the agency "operating within its budget".

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