Swindon Council plans £185m HR and IT outsourcing deal

Swindon Council is planning to transfer some of its HR services to a strategic partner in a 10-year deal worth £185m.

Under the deal, the winning bidder will also take over the running of the council’s revenues and benefits work and parts of other back-office functions, including finance and IT.

Rebecca McKenzie, director of HR at Swindon Council, said: “It is an incremental partnership which means that the range of services transferred to the partner may grow during the life of the agreement.

“We anticipate transferring a number of HR support services with effect from November, including payroll, recruitment, HR systems and administration. We intend to retain our strategy, policy and high-level advice functions in-house.

“The partnership arrangement will enable us to focus our energy on those HR activities that contribute most of the achievement of our corporate business objectives.”

To avoid the problems associated with a prolonged procurement process that affected similar projects at Swansea and Walsall councils, Swindon has hired Hitesh Patel, a private sector IT director with expertise in outsourcing, to oversee the deal.

Gavin Jones, the council’s deputy chief executive, said: “Patel was chosen to be the programme director because he had experience of three major outsourcing partnerships while he was with Diageo.”

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