PracticePeople In PracticeLiverpool Council signs IT deal with BT

Liverpool Council signs IT deal with BT

Liverpool City Council is transferring 1500 staff to a joint venture with BT's Syncordia Solutions unit which will sell IT services to other local authorities in a ten-year £300m deal.

The pair have signed a contract but have not yet agreed on a name.

The deal will see all of the council’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) team move to the new company, along with its call centre, revenues and benefits departments, human resources and payroll.

The council owns 19.9 per cent of the company, but retains a so-called ‘golden share’ to maintain a right of veto.

Pauline Owen, Liverpool’s head of ICT, said the council hopes the move will not only improve its services to citizens, but bring in important new revenue.

‘We are already talking to other people about delivering services to them. We see this as helping the regeneration of Liverpool,’ she said. ‘We’re in parallel negotiations with a number of other councils and public services but, at the moment, the main focus is on getting the venture up and running.’

One of the first tasks will be implementing a customer relationship management system from Oracle to allow citizens to access council services over the telephone, internet or face-to-face.

David Henshaw, the council’s chief executive, expects that both Liverpudlians and council staff will benefit.

‘Liverpool residents will see a real difference in customer relations and council employees seconded to the new company will benefit from new skills, personal development and better environments in which to work,’ he said.

‘They will be free from a great deal of the day-to-day administrative burdens which obstruct their work,’ he added.

The decision to select BT was made on 15 May last year, but it has taken this long to agree a contract. The discussions were described as ‘among the most complex in local government history’ by both sides.

The joint venture will officially launch on 2 April, with staff moving to the new site in May and June.

Also published in Computing

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