Feeds

Fujitsu loses £500m Walsall Council deal

Thanks for all your ideas - we can handle it from here

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Walsall Council pulled the plug on a £500m outsourcing deal with Fujitsu after proving that it can improve its shoddy services without help from the private sector.

The deal would have seen over 1,500 council staff sold off to Fujitsu and subcontractors Vertex under the direction of a strategy dubbed "Putting the Citizen First".

It came about after an Audit Commission survey of Walsall placed the council among the worst local authorities in the country.

The 2003 survey of Walsall identified it as a "weak" council, even after three years of steady improvement.

Business process outsourcing - paying private companies to take on council staff and services - was seen as the surest way for the council to improve its performance and gain some dignity.

Yet as negotiations with Fujitsu dragged on, Walsall did what it could to improve its services without a commercial imperative. In December 2004 it gained two stars and in the 2005 audit, its efforts paid off when the Audit Commission awarded Walsall a three-star rating, recognition that the council was "improving well".

The Local Government Chronicle has short-listed Walsall for a Most Improved Council Award, to be announced at its annual ceremony in March.

The reason for the improvement was attributed in part by Council leader Tom Ansell to the work of Fujitsu Services, from which his departments picked up ideas about how to do a better job. Neither he nor Fujitsu have yet revealed whether this came from paid consulting or the supplier's pre-sales efforts to clinch the now aborted deal. Some you win, some you lose.

Ansell summed up the nature of the authority's change of fortunes in a statement: "When we began to look at this project, the council was in a weak position...[now] Walsall is a very different authority."

Even so, we still have to wonder what is going to happen to those public services with which Walsall is still struggling. It appeared the council had assured the Audit Commission that its under-performing departments, such as social benefit, would be able to pull their socks up once they where managed by the private sector.

"The council has plans to address this through the partnership it is entering into with an outside organisation to provide many of its customer-facing and administrative services," says the Audit Commission report on Walsall, published only four weeks ago.

At least the council has the best part of a year before it has to dream up another alibi for its failing services.®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?