Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Swindon plans £300m outsourcing deal

Swindon Council is planning to embark on a major IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) contract that could be worth as much as £300m over 15 years.

Swindon issued an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) notice outlining its plans to engage an external supplier to perform a wide range of services for the council. These will include the development and running of a contact centre, property and facilities management, revenues and benefits, general administration, human resources, ICT, finance, procurement, and business process re-engineering services.Swindon plans to outsource these services over a ten to 15-year period, with the potential to extend it for a further five to ten years. The estimated annual value of the deal will be in the region of £20m.Comment: Swindon's plans are proof that local government has not lost its appetite for major outsourcing initiatives - it backs up our view that Walsall Council's decision to cancel a planned £500m BPO deal with Fujitsu Services does not mean the end for local government outsourcing. One of the factors behind Walsall's decision was that the council had managed to get its house in order without the contract. However, Swindon has taken a different route. It had been busily improving its service standards on its own - it has moved from a zero to a two-star authority - but has now reached the point where it wants to take the next step and engage a private sector partner to "deliver excellent, value-for-money services". It seems that Swindon has only now considered outsourcing after reaching a point where a step-change in performance is now needed.We believe that the size of the potential deal is likely to attract considerable interest from many of the usual suspects - both specialists such as Vertex, Serco, Pearson Government Solutions and Capita, and global suppliers such as EDS, Capgemini, IBM, and indeed Fujitsu, which remains committed to its local government ambitions.

Swindon has set a date of 16 February 2006 to receive tenders for the contract.
For details read here.

The article is sponsored by A-1 Technology Inc, dealing in offshore outsourcing and offshore software development.