Feeds

Birmingham Council signs 'unique' deal

Transforming rather than outsourcing

Top three mobile application threats

Birmingham City Council has signed a £475m deal with support services giant Capita - but, rather than merely signing an outsourcing agreement on 1 April, the unusual collaboration has been called a "transformation" agreement, and operates more like a lease.

Birmingham hopes the Capita deal will find it £500m of savings, while creating 800 jobs and "improving the prosperity of the city".

"We are trying to create a world leading centre of excellence in the transfer of government services," said former council head of service delivery Bob Carter, who at the weekend legally became an employee of Service Birmingham, the joint venture firm.

The deal is unique in a number of ways. The 500 council IT staff now employed by Service Birmingham have not been moved under protections provided by TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings - Protection of Employment Regulations) - rather they have been "seconded". The council was not available to explain the difference today.

The joint venture which will service the council has been called a strategic partnership, but it's 65 per cent owned by Capita. It is also thought to be the largest "lease" of local government services in Europe, according to Kablenet director of research Paul Smith.

This is the sort of deal Birmingham's firebrand MP Claire Short and 21 others said should be frozen.

They called for a moratorium on outsourcing last week, while they figured out if it was working for the public sector. Interestingly, Short was the only one of Birmingham's seven MPs to sign up.

Yet, this is also the kind of deal Cabinet Office golden boy Ian Watmore will be shoehorning into local government as part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review (effective 2008-09). It is "likely" council funding will depend on their adherence to his transformation agenda, he said in February.

No public authority in the world could give Birmingham a lead on transformation, Carter said. "We wanted to do something unique in the way we were transforming."

And it's just what Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council had been hoping to do, in a proposed £500m deal with Fujitsu, which never came off.

Birmingham had been watching closely as the Walsall deal came a cropper in February. Walsall had been hoping it could rely on the private sector to do the same that councillors are hoping Capita will do for Birmingham: cut costs, improve services, and create jobs. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
APPLE FAILS to ditch class action suit over ebook PRICE-FIX fiasco
Do not pass go, do cough (up to) $840m in damages
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.