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Kent Council cheerily flings about £100m at managed services bods

It's only taxpayers' money, nobody will really care. Right?

£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Kent County Council and two other local authorities are on a mission to splash between £50m and £100m on a mega outsourcing gig with managed services providers.

The four-year contract is to be awarded to five suppliers for "the outsourcing of day-to-day management responsibilities and functions" and is part of council plans to cut its operating costs.

It is being led by Kent's Commercial Services unit and includes Hertfordshire County Council and Hampshire County Council.

The tender indicated the service may include, but is not limited to, "software, hardware, digital mailroom, and purchase to pay automation, cloud storage document workflow management, data security and data loss prevention systems, customer communication management systems and other IP networking Services."

According to the document's blurb, Kent County Council is the largest local authority in England and has an annual expenditure of £1bn on goods and services with a population of 1.5 million locals.

In the original tender Kent said the project would be worth up to £500m, but confirmed to us this was a mistake. Perhaps they outsourced the writing of the tender document?

Outsourcing in local authorities to cut costs has proved to be hugely controversial, with big question marks over how effective some of the deals have been. Recently Cornwall County Council won the right to terminate its 10-year £160m contract with BT after encountering a number of major problems.

Somerset also voted to terminate its 10-year SouthWest One deal with IBM a year early, due to a report finding it had become "increasingly unaffordable". ®

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