Magazine article Public Finance

Essex Short-Lists Outsourcing Bidders

Magazine article Public Finance

Essex Short-Lists Outsourcing Bidders

Article excerpt

Essex County Council has shortlisted five bidders to run 'any or all' of its services in its huge £5.4bn outsourcing programme.

The council issued a tender notice in November for what could be the biggest local government outsourcing scheme. It said the successful bidder could potentially run all of its services during an eight-year contract, including 'but not limited to, corporate and back-office functions, environmental services, social care and school-related services'.

Essex has now shortlisted four consortiums, led by Capita, IBM, Mouchel and T-Systems. The fifth bid is from Tata Consultancy Services, the India-based global outsourcing giant, which will go it alone.

Nick Bell, Essex's deputy chief executive and executive director of finance, said the council had asked all five bidders to 'give us ideas in terms of an outline business case' by February. The fivestrong short list would then be reduced, probably to two.

The outsourcing plan, which is opposed by the Essex Unison branch, has not yet been put to the council's Cabinet or any committee, nor has its scope been defined.

Instead the council is seeking proposals from the bidders, Bell said. 'We're very much asking them for their ideas' Proposals for a preferred supplier would be put to a Cabinet meeting on March 31, he added. …

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