London gets shared services centre

The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham has signed a £120m, 10-year deal to set up London's first local government shared services centre from 1 October.

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The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham has signed a £120m, 10-year deal to set up London's first local government shared services centre from 1 October.

The centre, run by a joint venture company owned by the local authority and systems integrator Agilisys, aims to run IT and other back-office functions for a number of London boroughs.

Hammersmith & Fulham's head of IT strategy Jackie Hudson said, "We are creating a centre of IT excellence in London. We have strong partnerships and links across local government in London and we would see ourselves delivering services to councils through the shared services centre."

Some 140 council employees will be transferred to the joint venture company, which is to be called H&F Bridge Partnership, where they will work alongside a further 10 people from Agilisys.

The contract will supply Hammersmith & Fulham with its IT, but not other back-office functions. The council's Olas finance system, Trent human resources system and Radius e-procurement system will be provided by the joint venture.

The company will also run the electronic document management system that underpins the council's social care records project.

H&F Bridge Partnership will deliver Hammersmith & Fulham's Customer First and Business Transformation project as well as running the IT function. The joint venture will be paid a flat rate of £12m a year for the next 10 years as the council expects its business transformation work to reduce costs over time.

Hudson said, "It is difficult to say what the entire scale and scope of the Customer First and Business Transformation programme will be, but it will change customer contact across the council. It is about improving the way that online transactions work and it is about transforming the back office."

Hammersmith & Fulham said a benchmarking exercise by the Society of IT Management found that its IT function already delivered "good service" to the council.

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