Barnsley Council has begun work on the first of a series of business transformation projects that it plans to fund from back-office efficiencies created by an outsourcing deal.
The South Yorkshire council is implementing a Hyperwave content management system in a project that will cost between £2m and £3m over 12 months.
The project is being paid for out of the annual £7.2m that Barnsley pays to joint venture company TCL, which is co-owned by the metropolitan borough council and French systems integrator Bull Information Systems.
Barnsley signed a £72m, 10-year contract with TCL in July. Under the deal, TCL manages all of the council’s IT services including its desktops, server estate and applications, and is paid a flat rate of £7.2m a year.
However, the cost of providing IT services in the contract is expected to drop to £5.8m over time, and the extra money is being used to supply the council with a series of transformational projects.
Barnsley’s assistant chief executive Ken Rutt, who has responsibility for IT, said, “We have identified three broad phases for the content management system: implementation in the post room, introducing a corporate document management system, and enabling collaborative working.”
Council officers said they decided to set up a shared services centre to run the business transformation projects, rather than award the contract to another council, because they wanted to keep IT jobs in Barnsley. Some 106 jobs have been outsourced to TCL, and Bull is contractually committed to hiring a further 86 local people over the life of the contract.
Rutt said, “The last thing we wanted to do was take 106 jobs out of the local economy and send them to another council.”
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This was first published in November 2006