Central government has opened the door to wholesale consolidation of local government IT systems in many parts of the UK by approving 13 different plans for councils to merge.
If the plans pass public consultation, councils in 13 different parts of the country will merge by April 2009.
In each of the bids, one council in a particular area is proposing that it takes over the functions of other nearby local authorities.
Most of the bids come from county councils that plan to take over the functions of the other authorities in their area, leaving only one council in each county.
Councils that merge could standardise on a single set of applications in both the front office and back office.
Department for Communities and Local Government minister Phil Woolas said, “The bids that local authorities submitted show that they are up for improving the services they offer to their communities by making them more responsive, effective and efficient.
“We have been impressed by the quality of the bids, their value for money and their cross section of support which is why we can now go much further and proceed to the next stage in 13 areas.”
Related article: Government gives go-ahead to council mergers
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