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Swindon Borough Council is planning to outsource its back office services in a deal that could be worth up £500m.

The Wiltshire authority is inviting tenders for a contract of between 10 and 15 years, with a proposed option to extend for a further five to 10 years. The annual value of the tender is expected to be worth £20m a year to take on management of a large number of the council's services.

Swindon has seen its comprehensive performance assessment rating rise from zero to two out of a possible three stars, but it said in the OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) notice that it wants to improve further.

It is looking for a partner to take on the running of a number of key back office functions including ICT, HR, property management and revenues and benefits, among others.

This tender notice follows the high-profile cancellation last week of one of the biggest outsourcing deals in local government, when Walsall Council pulled its £650m deal with IT company Fujitsu Services.

The collapse of the Walsall deal came after the council decided its services had already begun to improve, and that the partnership with Fujitsu was no longer affordable.

The 12-year deal had been expected to create about 750 new jobs.

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