The new contract will also include strict service level agreements and penalty clauses following a Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI) report late last year, which branded the service’s attempts to tackle fraud as ‘ineffective’.
Bromley was one of the first local authorities to outsource its benefits service in 1993 to Capita and ICL. That contract has now ended and in the re-tendering process CSL and IT services company Sx3 successfully fought off a Capita bid.
Fred Parrott, business systems manager at Bromley, told VNU News Net that much tougher targets have been included this time round.
‘The previous contract didn’t really have any penalty clauses. This time there are response times, standards and a whole range of penalties for not meeting them,’ he said.
Sx3 will take responsibility for IT support and development, IT hardware and software procurement, for dealing with any problems with third party packages and hardware maintenance for 1700 workstations and 100 servers.
Under the terms of the deal 22 IT support staff will transfer from ICL to Sx3.
The service transition from Capita and ICL to CSL and Sx3 has already taken place in just one weekend. Stabilising the housing benefits service and the introduction of an electronic benefits form will be among the initial priorities, according to CSL.
The loss will be a blow to Capita, which was partly blamed last week for the fraud fiasco on the government’s Individual Learning Accounts scheme.
Last month the outsourcer also pulled out of the bidding for a £1bn contract to run Westminster City Council’s services because the terms were too strict.
No-one from Capita was available for comment.
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