Birmingham to end joint venture but keep Capita

City council plans to wind up the Service Birmingham arrangement but retain its partner to support digital strategy

Birmingham City Council has confirmed that it plans to wind up its Service Birmingham joint venture with Capita, but said they will continue to work together on core services and its ICT and digital strategy.

Birmingham from Centenary SquareThe council issued a statement saying that the joint venture, which was set up in 2006, has delivered “significant savings”, but that it is now aiming to reshape the commercial arrangement to provide greater flexibility. This will “better cater for the future needs of the council and its residents”, it said.

This has led to a proposal to change the nature of the organisations’ partnership, with a report expected to go to the council’s cabinet for approval at an unspecified date.

“The new partnership will deliver a mix of core services currently provided under Service Birmingham, as well as additional project based work enabling additional savings to be delivered over the next four years, helping the council meet its objectives,” the council said.

“This next phase of work is focused on Capita implementing the council’s ICT and digital strategy for 2016-21, which will meet the needs of modern public services and enable citizens, business and other partners to be better connected across multiple channels.”

Indications of the end of the joint venture emerged early in the year when Birmingham advertised for an assistant director of ICT. The ad said one of the responsibilities would be to oversee the effective closedown of the contract.

The contract between the two was extended in 2014 with the aim of providing up to £150 million in savings over the next seven years. The council indicated that it considered it too risky to change its ICT partner at the time.

Image: Birmingham from Centenary Square by Andy G, CC BY SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons