Havering and Newham councils to pilot software sharing project

Havering and Newham councils are set to share budgeting and forecasting software integrated with their existing Oracle ERP solution to provide a 'single overview' of their finances.

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Havering and Newham councils have started a pilot project to share budgeting and forecasting software from Advanced Business Solutions.

The scheme is part of the councils’ plan to save £10 million per year over the next three to five years by sharing back office services, dubbed ‘oneSource’. The councils have been sharing an ICT service since 2010, helping them to jointly save over £10 million.

Havering has used Advanced’s ‘Collaborative Planning’ software since 2011. It said the solution had allowed the council to eliminate the use of multiple Excel spreadsheets and have a ‘single overview’ of budgets. Havering’s operations manager Owen Sparks said the authority recommended the system to Newham thanks to its “flexibility and effectiveness”.

The planning solution will integrate with the councils’ Oracle ERP software, which is shared between seven local authorities in London via the ‘One Oracle Project’, to display procurement, budget, salary and other financial information in one place.

Havering joined the shared IT platform last August, with Newham Council due to go live this year.

“As both councils share services it is important that our systems and processes are aligned to enable us to work together as smoothly as possible. System intuitiveness and ease of use are also essential to enable our budget holders to fully engage with the financial management process,” Sparks said.

“We also have greater transparency of our finances, and with the continued squeeze on local authority resources, it remains crucial to have that knowledge easily and quickly accessible,” he added.

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