Steria bags £31m council deal

Welwyn Hatfield Council has signed a £31 million, 12-year, IT and services contract with Steria.

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Welwyn Hatfield Council has signed a £31 million, 12-year, IT and services contract with Steria.

The deal covers IT and communications, council tax, benefits, customer contact centre, reception and switchboard services.

The business process outsourcing deal will go live in January 2009 and aims to provide £500,000 savings a year for the local authority.

“The council’s key aim is to deliver high quality, value for money services”, commented Bob Jewell, chief resources officer at Welwyn Hatfield Council. Council leader John Dean said, "The current excellent quality of services provided by the council in these areas will not be compromised in any way."

Steria is promising to user “best in class business process and software” to allow the partnership to “provide customers with more choice, greater accessibility and quicker response times”.

Some 68 council staff working in the customer contact centre, ICT and revenues and benefits departments will transfer to Steria, with Steria hoping to use its facility at Welwyn Hatfield Council as a hub for a future shared service involving other local authorities in Hertfordshire and beyond.

The contract marks Steria’s first foray into BPO outsourcing for local government.

The UK is now the largest market for the French based company, which last month issued a profits warning . In October 2007, Steria acquired Xansa. Recent contract wins include a five year deal with Whitbread a £75 million contract extension with BT and a £2 million deal with Cotswold District Council .