Council to sign £187m outsourcing deal

Rochdale Borough Council is set to sign a 15-year £187m outsourcing deal with IT services firm Agilisys and facilities management company Mouchel Parkman.

Under the terms of the deal, due to be signed later this month, Agilisys will be paid about £8m a year to upgrade Rochdale’s HR and payroll systems, run a call centre and manage the council’s IT function.

About 60 council staff who work on corporate systems and another 20 who work on IT for the local education authorities’ schools will be seconded to Agilisys as part of the deal.

Claire Hedley, project manager of Rochdale’s strategic partnerships, said the council had decided to offer secondment because “it is much easier to reassure staff in relation to terms and conditions, including pensions”.

Rochdale is the latest local authority to opt for a long-term outsourcing deal. Last month, Bradford Council signed a 10-year deal with IBM and Serco Solutions worth £158m, which also involved the secondment of its IT staff.

Barnsley Council is looking at bidders for its own outsourcing contract, and Swansea Council is preparing to sign a long-term deal with consulting firm Capgemini.

Swansea’s plans, which have been delayed by arguments with unions, have been boosted by the agreement of 73 of its 90-strong IT department to accept transfer to the new service provider from 1 October.

The remaining 17 team members will continue their roles as local government employees. They will manage the outsourcing relationship for the council and provide other services, such as training.

Swansea’s IT staff went on strike for two months last year after the council advertised for an outsourcing company to take over its IT functions without consulting employees.

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