Shared Services — Epic Fail

The headline ‘Audit: Trash authority may need to be dissolved‘┬ásays it all but let me pile on with a few salient highlights from the piece that point to the fallacy of shared services as economically viable and strategically optimal in each and every instance:

In its performance review of MOSA, the Authorities Budget Office said that in the 25 years since the authority was created through state legislation, it has failed to achieve its stated objective of making solid waste disposal more efficient and cost-effective for the three counties.

Takeway: Shared services is more expensive.
Then this:

The report specifically takes to task members of MOSA’s governing board, especially those who also serve as public officials in their home counties.

“We do not believe the appointing counties and the appointed board members are likely to place the authority’s interests above the interests of the individual counties,” the report states.

Takeaway: The magical cost-saving shared services entity is subject to individual interests (aka non-shared) and thus fails to optimize outcomes for all parties. In other words, some fare better at the expense of others.

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