Magazine article Public Finance

Essex Postpones Outsourcing Scheme

Magazine article Public Finance

Essex Postpones Outsourcing Scheme

Article excerpt

Essex County Council has delayed a decision on its controversial outsourcing plans until after the June elections - and might sharply scale down proposals to hive off 'any or all' services.

A tender notice issued in November said the council was looking for a private sector partner with 'the potential to provide any or all of the council's services' in a deal worth up to ?5.4bn.

Two consortiums, headed by IBM and T-Systems, have been shortlisted. Essex was expected to select a preferred bidder at a full council meeting on April 21.

Instead, the council agreed only a brief paper with no details of the proposals, recommending that a decision be delegated to a Cabinet meeting scheduled for May 1. That meeting has since been cancelled.

A council spokeswoman said officers had 'wanted extra time' to put their proposals together and that the 'purdah' period before council elections on June 4 meant that debate would be delayed until after the poll. …

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