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In what is a first for London, Bromley and Lewisham Councils have joined forces to purchase their ICT support services from a single provider, resulting in significant combined annual savings of £2m. Of course while Bromley is Conservative, Lewisham is Labour.
There will be separate contracts with both Councils but with a shared specification and performance regime that will result in a standard set of requirements.
Annual savings to Lewisham will be £1.5m which represents a 40 per cent budget reduction, and to Bromley £500,000 a year, amounting to a 25 per cent saving.
The contracts have been awarded to SunGard Public Sector Ltd who will provide support for the computer and telephony systems used by staff across both councils.
Not only will this partnership save money and improve efficiency, but it will enable both Councils to share valuable skills and expertise across their organisations, resulting in a better service to the residents of Bromley and Lewisham.
The combined annual value of the five-year contracts is £3.6m, with prices fixed for the first three years and an option to extend for a further four years.
Both Councils see this innovative venture as the starting point from which they can deliver other ICT projects together and continue to provide a more effective service at a lower cost.
Cllr Neil Reddin, Bromley Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources, said:
“This ground-breaking deal shows how we're willing to work across borough and party political boundaries to get the best deal for our residents. By working with Lewisham we have achieved savings of around £0.5m a year – or 25% of the IT and telephony budgets – double what we could have achieved on our own."
Paul Jobbins, Managed Services Director for SunGard, said:
“We are delighted to renew our relationship with the Borough of Lewisham and extend our services to the adjacent Borough of Bromley. These contract awards come at a time when central government grants are being reduced and local authorities are looking for new ways to find budget savings.
This new experience of seeking a joint procurement may provide a useful pointer for other Public Sector organisations who are also seeking to make significant savings.”
Bromley has long been a pioneer of cross-boundary working, having set up a joint benefit fraud initiative with Greenwich as far back as 2002. Recently they have jointly tendered our SEN transport with our friends in Bexley and now have achieved saving of £1/2m by jointly tendering our IT and telephony contract with Lewisham – this is a ground-breaking deal in the industry and delivers savings of 25% of the relevant budget and twice what we could have achieved on our own.
They are also continuing to work closely with Bexley and now Croydon to find other ways in which sharing services and resources, joint tendering and other forms of closer working can bring about savings and improvements in services.