BT Partnership Provides Catalyst For Economic Regeneration

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BT has announced a ten-year contract with Lancashire County Council worth around £400m that will enable the County Council to deliver higher levels of service to its customers and major savings across all County Council services. This follows the announcement by the Council in October 2010 that they had entered into exclusive discussions with BT.

As a result of the agreement, BT will establish a partnership with the County Council in the form of a private limited company called One Connect Limited which will be a subsidiary of BT. The County Council will have a 40 per cent shareholding in One Connect Limited and BT will hold 60 per cent. Board members will be selected by the County Council and BT. Each party can also propose one independent director.

Neil Rogers, President Government & Health, BT Global Services, said: “We are delighted to have signed a strategic partnership with Lancashire County Council. We are drawing on our extensive knowledge of the local government sector to provide a truly innovative approach. We look forward to delivering excellent service to the people of Lancashire over the next decade. This is a key contract for BT and extends our footprint in this crucial market sector.”

The strategic partnership will deliver significant savings to the County Council of around £100m over the lifetime of the partnership. Savings will be generated through the faster deployment of technology and new systems.

The initial core services taken on by the partnership will include ICT (information and communications technology) for the County Council and schools plus the back-office services for human resources, payroll, the customer service centre and procurement. The partnership will deliver enhanced services more effectively with significantly reduced budgets.

County Councillor Geoff Driver, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Improving County Council services and providing value for money for taxpayers is crucial to everything we do and the strategic partnership is a key part of this. We have a long track record of delivering excellent services to the people of Lancashire and the strategic partnership will help us build on the good work we’ve done and deliver even better value for money for Lancashire’s taxpayers.

“By using our combined expertise and technology, we will cut red tape, simplify processes used for carrying out many day-to-day tasks, and provide services far more quickly and efficiently. We will also use our strategic expertise to drive further savings in the future.

“We’ve been working very closely with BT over the last few months and are looking forward to working with them in this new partnership. Now we have signed up to the partnership we can move forward together to revolutionise the way County Council services are delivered.”

As an indication of the strategic importance of this partnership, Tony Chanmugam, BT Group Finance Director, will become Chairman of One Connect Limited. BT will appoint other senior executives from across BT as other board members.

Neil Rogers said: “We believe that this partnership can and will act as a catalyst for economic regeneration in Lancashire by creating a county-wide infrastructure that supports new ways of working. The partnership will put Lancashire residents and the Council at the forefront of developments in government IT services. We understand the Council’s need to drive cost transformation and we strongly believe it is essential that the underlying ICT infrastructure and service operation can deliver this.”

The partnership will release resources within the County Council to invest in other areas, ensuring its leaders are ‘freed up’ to focus on strategic agendas. It will also enable the County Council to support schools and other public bodies, such as district councils, by providing services for beneficiary organisations to help them cope with the economic challenges.