Defra to transfer 330 jobs in IT outsourcing deal

The
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has signed a
£400m, seven-year outsourcing deal with global IT giant IBM.

Defra
said it had contracted IBM to "deliver an IT-enabled strategy for change,
improving the department’s internal process leading to better services for
customers".

Around
330 Defra IT staff will transfer to IBM when the contract begins in October.
The IT company is already in discussion with unions over transfer arrangements.

The
procurement process has been fraught with difficulty. The deal was expected to
be signed by the middle of last year, but was delayed several times, in part
because Defra was recruiting a new IT director.

The
Public and Commercial Services union also threatened strike action during the
procurement process over fears of job losses.

By Daniel Thomas

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