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London borough in miracle £250m IT deal

No cuts, no job losses - yet big savings, apparently

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The London borough of Barking and Dagenham has signed a joint venture agreement with Agilisys to reform the delivery of its back office and support services.

The IT services and outsourcing provider will work with the east London borough for seven years in a jointly owned business known as Elevate East London. The council hopes the deal will improve efficiency and save council taxpayers millions of pounds.

Under the terms of the agreement, the council's transactional and support services, its customer services centre, IT and computer services and systems, revenues and benefits, procurement functions and systems, payments, information requests and application processing will be transferred to the joint venture.

About 350 staff from Agilisys and the council have transferred to Elevate East London. The joint venture's board includes equal representation from the authority and Agilisys.

Councillor John White, Barking and Dagenham's lead member for customer services and HR who has joined the Elevate board as a director, said: "The creation of the joint venture with Agilisys means that the council will be able to make considerable savings without having to resort to the kind of drastic budget cuts that other local authorities are having to contemplate.

"A partnership with a private sector service provider is also very different from the kind of outsourcing of all council services, that some other councils are contemplating."

David Woods, Barking and Dagenham's chief executive, said: "This new venture isn't just about saving the council and local people money, it's also about creating new jobs and creating a new centre of skills and expertise."

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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