Dorset County Council rejects outsourcing

Council decides against outsourcing back-office services, including IT, due to a lack of flexibility

Dorset County Council has rejected outsourcing as an option for its back-office services, including IT, because it would not provide the flexibility it required.

According to the Dorset Echo, the council’s cabinet rejected the outsourcing option, and will instead look at other options, including improving internal services, forming a shared service with other local authorities and signing a partner to help it transform services.

Dorset County Council needs to find £45m over the next three years due to a reduction in the grants it receive – the changes to the back-room services is part of this.

The Dorset Echo reported that councillor Robin Cook, cabinet member for corporate development at Dorset County Council, said the council doesn’t spend too much money on these services, but it could be more efficient.

Ideally, all services would be kept in-house, according to Cook, but he admitted this would not be possible and voiced support for the council’s support staff. “We want to give these hard-working people the tools to do their job in a more effective way. That is the aim here. In an ideal world, we’d look to keep all of this in-house.”

Separately, the council of neighbouring county Cornwall has had trouble with its outsourcing contract with BT. The council tried to end the £160m outsourcing deal, but BT attempted to stop it. But the High Court has found in favour of the council.

Cornwall County Council and BT met in court earlier in December 2015, after the council announced it wanted to terminate its contract with BT.

The BT Cornwall deal – which was intended to last for 10 years when it was signed in 2013 – aimed to deliver IT services, document management, payroll, telehealth and telecare services. BT also promised to create jobs in the county.

Read more about Cornwall and BT’s outsourcing saga

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