Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils have selected Fujitsu Services to provide what is believed to be the first enterprise resource planning (ERP) shared service in local government.
Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet member for corporate services, John Reynolds, said, "This new shared service makes good business sense and fits in with the national requirement for the modernisation of local government."
Reynolds said savings from the project would be reinvested in front-line services such as caring for the elderly, the disabled and families, or providing improved schools, public transport and community facilities such as libraries.
Fujitsu has built on its own internal Oracle ERP service to provide the councils with a managed ERP service. The service is paid for through an annual subscription. Costs should decrease as more councils join, said Fujitsu.
Local and central government departments are increasingly looking at improving the value they get from IT by sharing it with other departments.
Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) recently signed a £25m deal to join a Flex shared-services programme run by Fujitsu Services in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, which offers IT as a shared service across the public sector.