UVic responds to the BC Administrative Services Delivery Transformation Project
A report by Deloitte & Touche LLP, consultants, commissioned by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology to identify potential opportunities for administrative savings through shared services in the post-secondary education sector, was released today. The full report is available at: www.aved.gov.bc.ca/administrative_service_delivery .
- Within the report, opportunities for savings are presented in three tiers. The Tier 1 and 2 opportunities that could provide savings at the University of Victoria primarily involve sharing procurement processes and contracts between institutions in order to reduce costs, and further sharing of IT infrastructure.
- We are pleased that there is a commitment from the Minister that any opportunities selected for implementation will respect collective agreements and regional contracts already in place and are not expected to result in any staff reductions. Tier 3 opportunities in the report, which would have implications for collective agreements, are not being considered.
- It is important to recognize that the opportunities identified in the Deloitte report are directional only. Detailed business cases will need to be developed to confirm that there are actual savings to be realized and whether the savings are within the ranges estimated in the report.
- The preliminary estimated savings as determined by Deloitte and prior to the completion of detailed business cases are in the range of $38-$83 million per year across the system in Tier 1 and 2.
- The report is clear that administrative savings will require up-front investments and if supported by business cases, will take approximately six years to achieve. UVic has already put in place a number of the initiatives referred to in the report so those savings have already been realized, at least in part, at our university.
- The government is reducing post-secondary funding by $50 million over the next three years. This substantial amount will be difficult to achieve without affecting the quality of educational services to students given the budget reductions and unfunded cost pressures that universities have experienced over the last several years.
- Since 2009 UVic has implemented cost reductions amounting to more than 8.5 per cent of our operating budget.
- These reductions have been achieved by protecting, as much as possible, the university’s ability to fulfill its teaching and research mandate and the high quality of programs and services for students. For e.g. the standardization of computer purchasing on campus and the consolidation of the courier services to one courier designated by competitive bidding has resulted in annual savings of more than $850,000.
- The Deloitte report recognises that a great deal of collaboration is already happening across the post-secondary sector. The more formalized sharing of best practices and assessment of potential initiatives, as recommended in the report, will be helpful.
- BC universities have a record of success over many of years in collaborating, provincially and nationally, on initiatives that promote efficiency and effectiveness, and minimize costs. The BC Net shared information technology services consortium and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, a consortium of Canadian universities that purchases licenses for digital content, are two prime examples.
- Up to this point, UVic has not been directly involved in the government process that led to the Deloitte & Touche report. We have, however, been in contact with our research university colleagues and have indicated our commitment to work with them to move quickly to pursue further opportunities such as procurement of commonly purchased goods and services, enhancing the information technology service delivery that already exists with BCNet, and sharing digital resource services where solid business cases exist to establish savings and support change.
- We look forward to directing any administrative savings that can be achieved toward areas of student need.