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Birmingham City Council and Capita have concluded the first part of detailed negotiations to develop a more flexible partnership proposal that will deliver £43 million of savings by 2020/21, as outlined in the council’s budget in March of this year, including £11.5 million savings in 2017/18.
The proposal outlines the findings and recommendations from the negotiations conducted since cabinet’s approval of an earlier report on 27 June, based on earlier agreed intent from both parties to deliver the council’s objectives.
The outcome of these further negotiations will, as expected, see the maintenance of the current core ICT services contract until March 2021 but with the council ending the joint venue arrangement, which has been in place since 2006 and has commercial restrictions. Under the terms agreed, the joint venture will end on 1 January 2018.
As well as delivering the core ICT services currently provided by Service Birmingham Ltd, the partnership will focus on project-based work to deliver savings over the next three years and the continued implementation of the council’s ICT & Digital Strategy which was approved in October 2016.
This strategy supports the increasing demands for more modern public services to enable citizens, business and other partners to be better connected across multiple channels, whilst enabling the delivery of innovative solutions that support the council of the future.
Ian Ward, interim leader of the city council, said: “As we’ve said before, the shape and objectives of the council are changing due to a wide range of factors including reduced funding for local government, changes in population profile and ever-evolving technology.
“Our IT and Digital Services must support and lead in addressing these challenges and achieving these objectives, whilst providing flexibility, added value and supporting the council in continuing to deliver ‘day-to-day’ services whilst making this transition.
“The new deal will see the council gradually take more control of its ICT & Digital services between now and 2021, by Capita and the council working together on the transition. Through these negotiations we have been able to secure significant savings in 2017-18, as well secure future savings over the remaining three years of the contract. We need to protect frontline services and begin a process that will enable us to meet other future challenges.”