Feeds

Serco ate our IT supplier: Now what? – London boroughs

Council peeps get second set of corporate badges

High performance access to file storage

IT services relationships at the London tri-borough group of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea are likely to become more complex following the acquisition of Westminster's IT supplier Vertex by Serco.

Serco said the acquisition last week, for £55m, brings it additional skills and capabilities to support expansion into new areas of middle and back office support and adds further scale to its recently created global services division.

In 2002, Westminster city council awarded Vertex a £442m 10-year contract to manage its customer services and council tax bills, which was then extended in 2011 to 2014. The contract was one of the biggest to be won by Vertex and saw about 300 council staff transfer over to the company.

A spokesman for the council told Guardian Government Computing that it considers Serco's acquisition of Vertex to be "business as usual" and that it will "look at the contract" closer to 2014.

In the tri-borough's proposals report, published in 2011, the three councils admitted that relationships with their IT services suppliers was complex and that the procurement implications of any future strategy will need to be well thought through to avoid legal challenge, especially under EU procurement rules.

Besides Westminster's Vertex relationship, Hammersmith and Fulham's IT is provided by a joint venture with Agilisys and HFBP, which involves a profit share element, while Kensington and Chelsea has an in-house infrastructure management team coupled with a line of business support teams using procured solutions.

The three boroughs are currently jointly tendering for a 10-year, £300m to £455m, total facilities management contract due to start in May 2013. The contract is largely non-IT based, but may cover property management IT services, such as maintaining the asset register. It may offer a template for a future tri-borough IT services contract.

Serco said the Vertex acquisition improves its position for large scale outsourcing opportunities and that it expected it to enable the company to provide additional services into existing local government customers.

It added that the Vertex operations brought significant experience and scale to leverage in future opportunities within the central government market, as well as the potential transfer of capabilities to private sector customers.

Vertex's other major business process outsourcing customers include Thurrock council, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) and Job Centre Plus.

A progress report published by the London tri-borough group of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster city council has revealed that the councils are on track to save £40m a year by 2015-16 by combining services and management costs.

At the end of June, the three authorities are to host a seminar for council officers detailing what the tri-borough project has delivered and how it can be replicated across local government.

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.