Shared Services

Governments that share services have lower per capita expenses than those that do not and this effect is most pronounced in suburban communities. In the DVRPC region, there are many examples of service sharing; it has been embraced by members of both political parties as a fiscally responsible method of service delivery. While there are differing definitions of what constitutes shared services, DVRPC defines them as those provided by or received by more than one municipality.

In many cases, sharing municipal services allows local governments to decrease both the cost and the complexity of the services they provide to their constituents while providing a higher level of service overall. Properly planned and implemented shared services provide benefits in at least one of six distinct areas:

  • Provision of new service where none previously existed
  • Direct cost savings for existing services
  • Avoidance of future costs through planning and efficiencies
  • Elimination of service duplication
  • Provision of additional services within a given budget
  • Increased aggressiveness and competition for outside funding

For a detailed discussion on shared services in the DVRPC region, including when to share services, which types of services are best shared, conducting feasibility studies, and what other municipalities are doing, please download MIT #25: Implementing Shared Services.

To view presentations from DVRPC's June 7, 2013 forum, Implementing Shared Services: Best Practices and Case Studies, use the following links:

Resources for Shared Services in New Jersey

For assistance with shared services planning and implementation, municipalities in New Jersey may contact their county shared services coordinators or any one of the other following offices.

Municipalities interested in learning more about shared services across New Jersey can consult the following studies:

Resources for Shared Services in Pennsylvania

For assistance with shared services planning and implementation, municipalities in Pennsylvania should contact their local county planning department, local council of governments, or one of the other organizations listed below.

Municipalities interested in learning more about shared services across Pennsylvania can consult the following studies from the Pennsylvania Economy League: