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IT staff return to Bournemouth Council as outsource deal ends


Transfer back in-house aimed at providing more control in advance of reorganisation of local government in Dorset

Bournemouth Borough Council has moved 60 IT staff back in-house after the end of a six-year outsourcing deal with services company Kier.

It is part of a broader move, with 244 staff having rejoined the council under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) arrangements, with the HR, revenues and benefits and facilities management teams also returned to council control.

In addition, Bournemouth has combined its operational and strategic IT departments under the move.

The outsourcing contract was established in 2010 with Kier, at that time called Mouchel, and aimed to create jobs and save £29 million over 10 years. According to a council statement, the deal has delivered more than £10 million in savings and created around 175 jobs.

A spokesperson said that the council was unable to the disclose costs of the move at this stage. 

Better control

Nick Palmer, head of strategic IT at Bournemouth, said that returning the operational IT department to the council will “provide better control and greater flexibility” as Bournemouth prepares for the structural reorganisation of local government in Dorset. 

The nine councils in Dorset, including Bournemouth, are currently in discussions over the creation of a combined authority, following their submission of a statement of intent to government declaring an interest in a devolution deal. 

“Following its successful transition, the IT department will now go through a two-month period of stabilisation as the service continues to embed within the day-to-day operations of the council,” said Palmer.

“This will then be followed by a review period when we begin optimising the service alongside preparations to implement a number of key projects in line with the continued delivery of our IT strategy. Our priority was to ensure a seamless return so that the required standard of service is maintained. I’m pleased to say that this has been achieved.”


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, by Dave Farmer, CC BY-SA 2.0 .  

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