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Blackpool acts to avoid fall of Pericles

New revenues and benefits software urgently needed

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A group of 10 councils led by Blackpool is rushing to find a replacement for the Anite Pericles revenues and benefits system.

The authorities estimate they will spend between £1m and £5m on replacing their Pericles systems. Northgate, which bought Anite in August 2008, is discontinuing the software next year.

Blackpool Council is using an 'accelerated restricted' procurement. "This requirement is urgent due to changes in the revenues and benefits software market outside the control of the authorities," it says in the procurement notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 29 July 2009.

It has set an early deadline for receipt of tenders of 17 August. However, in March Blackpool published a prior information notice, asking suppliers to enter into dialogue on providing such a system.

As well as providing and implementing a new revenues and benefits software system compliant with current legislation, the supplier will also help move data from councils' Pericles systems and provide training on its own product. The tender says the system it buys "must be currently operating satisfactorily in a live environment" by a firm which can show it has the ability to implement and support it.

The other councils involved in the procurement are Eden DC, Fylde DC, Newcastle-under-Lyme BC, Rochdale Council, Rushcliffe BC, South Lakeland DC, South Staffordshire Council, Stafford BC and Tameside Council.

Each council may issue its own invitation to tender, but Blackpool is handling the prequalification questionnaire stage for all of them, using the north west's local authority procurement portal known as 'the chest'.

LB Enfield has also published a tender for a new revenues and benefits system, on which it estimates it will spend £2.5m to £7m.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable'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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