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Ultimately, the primary objective of joining with another agency to provide a service is to increase efficiency and/or effectiveness. It is necessary that both parties in the sharing arrangement gain something: either a lower cost for the same service level or an improved service, a higher service level or more people served. Other benefits may be increased capacity or capabilities.
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The difficulty depends upon the context of the service and amount of change involved in the process. First, there must be political will to pursue creation of a joint service. There will always be some rough spots, either operational, personnel or fiscal impacts that will need to be surmounted. Second, a vacancy in a leadership position such as the service's director position makes sharing or jointly providing a service much easier. Third, "participant buy-in" will increase the probability of success. Decision making should be a participative affair, not a dictate from a distant authority. All affected parties need to understand the financial, programmatic and personnel reasons for and impacts of the proposed change. This is often the reason municipalities complete formal or informal feasibility studies before initiating a joint service.
It is not always clear that all of the financial and operational elements of a joint service will actually work.
A feasibility study will provide elected and appointed managerial officials with insights into the operation and identify capital, financial, human, and other resource impacts permitting a more reasoned and responsible decision regarding possible sharing.
Employees worried about:
Or any combination or all of the above.
Sometimes it is not beneficial to jointly provide services: