Housing Corporation confirms controversial outsourcing deal

The Housing Corporation this week confirmed it is to outsource the running of its desktop management and key business systems to...

The Housing Corporation this week confirmed it is to outsource the running of its desktop management and key business systems to PC manufacturer Elonex.

The deal, revealed by Computer Weekly last month, had been agreed despite receiving a red light after Gateway 3 hearings in December 2002. Introduced by the Treasury in 2001, the Gateway process is designed to help end public sector IT disasters.

However, the Housing Corporation said that the issues raised by the Gateway Review have now been addressed.

From this summer, all Housing Corporation desktop management and key business systems will be delivered via the web to housing associations, staff and customers using an Application Service Provider (ASP) model. The Housing Corporation, which hands out more than £1.3bn a year to housing associations, expected the deal to result in greater efficiency when delivering services to its customers.

Officials are also predicting that the project could serve as a model of e-business best practice for other public sector bodies. Housing Corporation assistant chief executive Jackie Green said, "Our new working arrangements will be a practical demonstration of delivering improved standards of service to our customers and staff and will serve as an excellent example of public sector delivery of e-business targets."

The public sector body said the deal followed extensive procurement and selection procedures through the G-Cat list of approved Government suppliers. Elonex was selected on the grounds of providing "best service to the corporation and best value for taxpayers' money," it said.

The Housing Corporation also confirmed that the project would come under the scrutiny of the Gateway Review process.

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