Collaboration Takes a Leap

By: Michigan NewsWire

Collaboration between governments, public sector organizations, and other related associations has reached new heights with the launch of the Michigan Shared Services Community.   Announced today by David Behen, Chief Information Officer for the State of Michigan, the new online community allows communities and organizations to work together to find services and resources that can be shared.

“This enhances our opportunities for win-win partnerships and our ability to solve problems,” said Behen.  “It’s a tool that can help us save dollars and improve service.”  Behen made the comments at the fall conference of Michigan Government Management Information Sciences (Mi-GMIS) at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Michigan.

Found at http://sharedservices.michigan.gov/, the main goal of the Michigan Shared Services Community is to provide an environment where public sector organizations can share services with each other and as a result, save money and other resources. The site allows people to create a profile, join groups in their area of interest, and collaborate on best practices that can be shared.  The initial groups within this community include:

  • Energy , Infrastructure and Public Works
  • Public Safety, Emergency Management,  Corrections, and Judiciary
  • Health, Social, and Human Services
  • Economic, Talent, and Community Development
  • Finance, Administration, Human Resources, and Licensing and Permitting
  • Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources, and Parks
  • Citizen Engagement, Open Government and Online Service Delivery
  • Procurement
  • Education
  • Grants
  • Libraries
  • Revenue sharing

“This tool enhances our ability to share information and collaborate on how we can partner with other entities to save money,” said Ron Plamondon, Director of Information Technology for Leelanau County.  “We are all looking for opportunities to become more efficient and improve service and this will be a vital tool in finding and building those opportunities.”

The site will also be useful for communities in meeting the requirements for the state’s Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP).  Public Act 63 of 2011 introduced EVIP, whereby each city, village, or township that received a FY 2010 statutory payment greater than $4,500 and fulfills the specific requirements in three categories will be eligible to receive a maximum of 67.8% of its FY 2010 total statutory payment.  An eligible city, village, or township will receive 1/3 of the maximum amount for each of the three categories for which they fulfill the specific requirements.  The three categories are Accountability and Transparency, Consolidation of Services, and Employee Compensation.  Because the Michigan Shared Services Community is designed to promote public sector shared services, it’s the perfect tool to assist communities in meeting the requirements for EVIP.  For more details about EVIP, you can visit the Department of Treasury web site at:
http://michigan.gov/treasury/0,1607,7-121-1751_2197-259414–,00.html.

Founding partners for the Michigan Shared Services Community include the Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Intermediate School District, Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Township Association, Michigan Association of Regions, State of Michigan, City of Ann Arbor, City of Holland, City of Livonia, Grand Valley State University, Kent County, Leelanau County, and Oakland County.

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