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Housing Corp dumps Elonex

Flagship public sector contract killed off

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The Housing Corporation has dumped Elonex as a supplier after three difficult years.

In a statement, dated 22 December 2005, the corporation confirmed it had terminated its contract with Elonex and said: "A new contract for the majority of services has been put in place with the previous ASP sub-contractor, Netstore. The services that are not being transferred to the new supplier will, for the foreseeable future, be performed by staff in the Housing Corporation's Information Systems Department."

The agreement started in early 2003, with Elonex offering ASP services through NetStore.The agreement was made through the GCat scheme and was heralded as a new kind of public sector project.

Dr Norman Perry, CEO of the Housing Corporation at the time, said:"Our new working arrangement 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."

As well as support and hardware maintenance, Elonex and NetStore were to provide thin-client desktop machines for staff, but this was cancelled in 2004.

The project has been deeply unpopular with IT staff and led to two walk-outs and numerous complaints.

The council refused to comment on the reasons for the termination, but IT director Peter Ford said in an email seen by Computer Weekly that contractrual problems had stopped the content management system working and had "got in the way" of plans to sort out the finance system.

The email also said: "Most of us will, no doubt, be pleased this relationship has been brought to an end."

More from Computer Weekly here. Read the Housing Corporation's statement here.®

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