back to article Brit council tosses Serco a £50m contract extension as coronavirus pandemic leaves in-sourcing plans in tatters

A UK local authority has postponed the planned end to its £250m outsourcing deal with Serco and is paying another £50m to stay with the contractor. Hertfordshire County Council signed a 10-year agreement with Serco in 2010, outsourcing large chunks of its back-office functions including HR, finance and IT. In 2017, it extended …

  1. cbars Silver badge
    Trollface

    If it wasn't for C-19

    I'm sure they'd have had that little lot implemented right on time!

    With months to go, no doubt all alternative systems are implemented, data migration plans in place and validated, and its once the redeployed staff are back they will be able to press "go-live" without issue.

    Although... to make it worth an additional outlay of £50million, perhaps I'm wrong...?

  2. BenDwire Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    £50 Million?

    I'm guesing that's a 2 year contract, but it seems a huge amount for effectively a filing cabinet and a spreadsheet! It does however explain the huge rise in my council tax bill and the new additional charge for collecting garden waste.

    Does nobody in charge care about getting value for money?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: £50 Million?

      In answer to your question, NO!

      I have worked for a London Borough and then subsequently for a tender winning contractor and at no time was it apparent that the council and councillors were thinking of the residents.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "in May it apologised"

    Splendid beginning of a project. Barely a quarter in and already there's been a data leak.

    Bodes well for the future, eh ?

  4. Ashto5

    Still in the Dark Ages

    This really annoys me.

    We live in a world where I can get a pizza delivered in 20 mins, silicone sealant delivered in under 24 hrs

    AND YET

    Council services are still NOT centralised, it is the same set of services in each council.

    Bins, library, housing, etc etc

    Honestly I do not think these Council people are worth the money being paid.

    Serco etal are just riding the gravy train

    £25 million a year seriously!!!!!

    It is NOT in Serco interest to help centralise they NEED every council paying through the nose for the same services.

    Office for budget responsibility should be all over this, it’s insane.

    1. airbrush

      Re: Still in the Dark Ages

      Bins, housing and libraries might not be the best examples of stuff that can be centralised! Take a look at the Worcestershire and Warwickshire police centralisation that was recently reversed by the vain prima donnas that want their own little fiefdoms. Local control is often more manageable than having someone up high trying to do everything as the recent coronovirus omnishambles has shown but yeah most councils have outsourced back office to the same old providers which is centralisation in a way.

    2. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: Still in the Dark Ages

      "Council services are still NOT centralised"

      This is a failure of central government which washes its hands of supporting local government effectively. It would be reasonable to expect HMG to provide a SaaS solution that would permit local governments simply to configure for their own "branding" and geographical location. It is, after all, what many local authorities already do for organisations within their boundaries. Parish councils, town councils etc are often consuming a service provided by the County council. Sadly government is always very big about talking about reduction of inefficiency, joined-up services, "supporting our communities" etc. and very bad at actually doing something to achieve those goals.

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