Cornwall Council’s cabinet has voted in favour of a scaled-down joint venture with BT that will see the supplier run services including IT support.
Cornwall Council will issue an invitation to BT – the sole supplier bidding for the contract – to submit a formal tender for the procurement of a Strategic Partner for Support Services.
If the deal is completed, about 300 staff will transfer from the council to the joint venture with BT.
BT's joint services venture was scaled down from the original proposal for outsourced services. In December 2012 councillors voted for a much-reduced privatisation option covering Cornwall's IT department and a joint venture with BT and regional health bodies to develop a telehealth hub.
Cornwall Council’s cabinet has now voted for a deal with BT worth about £14m. BT will be asked to submit a formal bid.
Read more about Cornwall Council and local government outsourcing
“Following the decision, BT will be asked to submit their bid later this week. This will be evaluated against a set range of criteria, including financials, job creation, trading and inward investment and service delivery and quality,” said a Cornwall Council statement.
“A report setting out the results of the evaluation will then be brought back to a meeting of the Cabinet later this month which will decide whether to award a contract.”
The contract will offer services, including ICT support, telehealth and telecare, document management, invoice processing, payroll and employment support.
“The deal will offer guaranteed savings and new jobs in Cornwall,” said Cornwall Council.
The proposal has been controversial from the beginning and even led to the ousting of a council leader. In October 2012, then Cornwall Council leader Alec Robertson lost a confidence vote 63 to 49 over the handling of the outsourcing process.