Birmingham strikes new deal with Capita

Core services contract between city council and professional services company to remain in place after closing of joint venture

Birmingham City Council has agreed on a new arrangement with Capita to support its ICT and digital strategy, following the recent decision to wind up their Service Birmingham joint venture.

Central Birmingham from Centenary SquareThe two sides have developed a proposal, due to go to the council’s cabinet of 27 June, to keep the core services contract in place with a focus on supporting the ICT strategy until March 2021.

It will deliver a mix of services currently provided under the joint venture, plus project based work aimed at providing extra savings. Birmingham has forecast that the proposal will deliver £10 million of savings in the current financial year and £43 million by 2020-21.

The council said that it and Capita had recognised a need for more flexibility to implement its strategy, and the new approach will allow for new solutions to support the council’s future business models.

Councillor Ian Ward, deputy leader of the council, said: “As is widely known, the shape and objectives of the council are changing due a wide range of factors including reduced funding for local government, changes in population profile and an ever-altering technological landscape.

“Our ICT and digital service needs to support and lead in achieving those objectives, whilst providing flexibility, added value and having the ability to continue delivering a ‘day-to-day’ service whilst making this transition.

“This deal will see the council gradually take more control of its ICT and digital strategy over the next four years with Capita and the council working together. Through these negotiations we have been able to secure the savings we need to protect frontline services and start the ball rolling on the process that will enable us to meet the challenges of the future.”

Strategy objectives

Among the key objectives of the strategy are the development of a reference architecture with a baseline for ICT and digital, a move to a new operating model and the definition of digital agenda.

It involves six themes, including an integration of ICT and digital services, using a hybrid hosting model of on-premise and cloud systems, and a move for the council to become more data centric.

The original contract between Birmingham and Capita was agreed in 2006 then extended in 2014 with the aim of providing up to £150 million in savings over the next seven years.

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