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Lancashire council signs up to £400m outsourcing joint venture with BT

Bryan Glick

Lancashire County Council has finally agreed a £400m joint venture deal with BT Global Services, over six months after announcing the firm had been chosen as preferred supplier.

The 10-year contract covers IT services for the local authority and its schools, along with IT supporting back-office functions such as HR, payroll and procurement, plus a customer service centre.

The outsourcing arrangement has been structured as a joint venture that will be delivered through a new company, One Connect Ltd, which will be 60% owned by BT and 40% by the council, with board members selected by both parties. BT Group finance director Tony Chanmugam will be chairman of One Connect.

BT has previously used a similar model for its Liverpool Direct operation, in partnership with Liverpool City Council.

The new deal is expected to deliver £100m of savings for the county council over the lifetime of the contract.

"Improving County Council services and providing value for money for taxpayers is crucial to everything we do and the strategic partnership is a key part of this," said Councillor Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council.

"By using our combined expertise and technology, we will cut red tape, simplify processes used for carrying out many day-to-day tasks, and provide services far more quickly and efficiently. We will also use our strategic expertise to drive further savings in the future."

Neil Rogers, president for government and health at BT Global Services, added: "We believe that this partnership can and will act as a catalyst for economic regeneration in Lancashire by creating a county-wide infrastructure that supports new ways of working. The partnership will put Lancashire residents and the council at the forefront of developments in government IT services. We understand the council's need to drive cost transformation and we strongly believe it is essential that the underlying IT infrastructure and service operation can deliver this."

Separately, Lancashire is also looking to appoint suppliers for a county-wide superfast broadband network, in contracts worth £40m.


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