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Cornwall Council transfers 270 staff back in-house as BT deal ends

Cornwall Council’s £160m outsourcing deal with BT has officially come to an end as the council transfers 270 staff back in-house

Cornwall Council and BT Cornwall’s £160m outsourcing deal has come to an end as the council transferred 270 staff back in-house this week.

In December 2015, the High Court allowed Cornwall Council to end its outsourced IT contract with BT. The council gave BT notice of termination before Christmas and yesterday (18 January 2016) marked the official end of the deal.

The council said in a statement that following the termination, services had “formally transferred back to the council”.

“This has involved approximately 270 employees in HR transactional services, ICT, despatch, printing and telecare. Work has been taking place to ensure that this process takes place as smoothly as possible and all services will be maintained,” the Cornwall Council said.

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.

But the two parties spent months in discussions over whether BT had been in material breach of the contract. Following a Strategic Partnership Review published in April 2015, the council announced in June 2015 that it wanted to terminate the contract, as it found that BT had not carried out services “to the required contractual standards”.  

Read more about the Cornwall BT outsourcing deal

Cornwall Council maintained that BT had not delivered key projects “effectively or on time”.

BT filed an injunction in an attempt to stop the council from terminating the deal, but in December 2015 the High Court ruled that BT “did not provide to the defendants the service it had promised, to the standard it had promised”.

Cornwall Council said it was still in discussion with BT over “the payment of costs and the level of damages” it will receive.

A BT spokesperson said the company had “handed back services which have met all key performance targets for the past eight months and delivered operational savings”. 

Read more on IT for government and public sector

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