Oldham’s outsourcing contract will lead to transfer of more than 400 staff

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council has signed a 10-year, £260m IT and business process outsourcing contract which will see 440 staff transferred or seconded to a new joint venture company.

The council has awarded a deal to the Unity Partnership, led by services firm Mouchel Parkman and local government outsourcer HBS, with supporting partners on IT services from Agilisys, construction services from Gleeson and investment packages from Abros.

The jobs to be transferred in the first phase of the programme include customer services, revenues and benefits, highways and property services.

The second phase of the partnership is likely to start from April 2007, and will cover IT services under subcontract to Agilisys, as well as potentially finance, HR, payroll and general administration activities.

The Unity Partnership already operates similar programmes at Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kent, and most recently in January 2006, at Rochdale.

John O’Brien, an analyst at research firm Ovum Holway, said: “We believe that a key objective behind such private sector partnerships is to establish ways in which to share services between authorities, perhaps on a regional basis.

“We will be keen to see how the Unity Partnership can step up to the plate and deliver on what will perhaps be the most challenging aspect of future local authority outsourcing.”


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