Glasgow confirms transformation deal with CGI

Seven-year contract to come into force in April to include plans for more online transactions and better data analysis in health and care

Glasgow City Council has confirmed it is to go ahead with a seven-year contract with business consulting services firm CGI to support its IT systems and “kick-start a step change” in its digital services.

The confirmation comes a year after the council indicated its intention of moving to a deal with CGI, based on a similar arrangement the company has in place with City of Edinburgh Council.

But the plan was reliant on the business case being proven, and ran into an obstacle when the council’s previous IT services provider Serco lodged a complaint with Scotland’s Court of Sessions about the legal basis of the deal.

Glasow from Queen's ParkThis was resolved with an agreement under which the council would take on Serco's membership of the Access joint venture between the two from the end of this month. It said the arrangement had provided £70 million in savings over the past decade.

Glasgow has now said the deal will go ahead, having accepted an offer from CGI that meets its requirements. Both parties are working towards the new contract, valued at more than £350 million, coming into force from April of next year.

The city’s digital champion, Councillor Angus Millar, emphasised the potential for a complete redesign of its interactions with local people.

“We have an opportunity to completely redesign how we use technology to improve the lives of all Glaswegians,” he said.

“From world class digital learning in our schools, to protecting the health of our most vulnerable citizens, we need to innovate and be ready to embrace opportunities to use technology creatively to deliver for the city.

“Since approval of the outline business case in April, we have focused a great deal of attention on developing and refining the staffing model; to ensure the deal is right for the workforce and puts them right at the heart of driving forward change in our city.

“That includes establishing a Workforce Board, which I will chair, as a key part of the governance arrangements for the contract.”

Benefits expected

The council has pointed to a number of benefits it expects from the deal, including a big increase in the number of transactions that can be completed online, and the provision of high speed and wireless connectivity for all of its libraries. The latter ties in with its aim of supporting digitally deprived citizens, allied with a plan to work with a local social enterprise to make some of its decommissioned technology available to residents.

It emphasised plans to increase support for data analysis in health and care, aiming to improve the success rates of early interventions and identify where assistive technology can help vulnerable people.

In the field of education, it said the contract will involve major network improvements, the provision of a tablet device to every pupil from P6 onwards, and the creation of a Digital Learning team to support schoolchildren.

The council added that staff pay, pensions and conditions will be protected, and that those currently seconded to the existing Access joint venture with Serco will be able to retain that status, thereby remaining council employees, if they choose.

CGI is already a significant employer in Glasgow, operating an Open Digital Service Centre at the Inovo building in George Street. It has plans to develop a skilled city workforce, to sponsor a degree programme at Glasgow Caledonian University, and to sponsor software development training for 100 long term unemployed people every year.

Pictured: Glasgow from Queen’s Park by Chris Haikney, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons