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Barnsley teams with Bull

ICT joint venture

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Barnsley MBC has formed a joint venture company with Bull Information Systems (BIS) to manage its ICT for the next 10 years.

The council, which announced that it is spending £76.1m over the on the deal, claimed the venture will provide it with a more "cost effective, secure and robust" infrastructure to support its services. It has not, however, revealed how much it expects to save.

All 106 council staff will be transferred to the new company. BIS will also be able to use the centre for other contracts, whether in the private or public sector.

The joint venture's spokesperson told GC News: "The council is not just concerned with efficiency savings but wanted to retain council IT staff and create more jobs in the local area. The joint venture offers that solution."

The company also plans to work with regional bodies, colleges and skills councils to develop opportunities for local people to obtain IT training and join its workforce.

Future plans could include providing ICT services to small businesses and start-ups in the region.

Barnsley chief executive Phil Coppard said: "The operation of a secure ICT infrastructure is an essential requirement for the council in its aim towards key initiatives of remaking Barnsley, remaking education, and digital challenge aspirations.

"Insourcing our IT services in this way not only guarantees the jobs of the existing team, it creates a new high tech company in Barnsley that we believe is ideally poised to win new business and create more jobs for the local area."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

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