Southwest One deal to be renegotiated

Yeovil Express: Southwest One deal to be renegotiated Southwest One deal to be renegotiated

Somerset County Council is renegotiating its contract with South West One – the controversial company that runs ‘back-office’ services for various local authorities.

The partnership, set up in 2007, involves Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Council, Avon and Somerset Police and IBM.

It has involved outsourcing various council responsibilities like customer services, payroll, some finance operations, and human resources.

When started, the £600million contract was touted as being able to save the county council £180million over its ten-year lifetime, but, as reported by the County Gazette, it is now forecast to fall well-short of that target.

Now a the county council is setting up a panel, made up of the ruling Conservative group and opposition LibDems to examine the possibility of bringing some staff and services back in-house.

The council says that due to the commercial nature of the talks, details will not be made public.

Southwest One has been criticised for its high levels of secrecy since the outset while other critics see it as creating another layer of unnecessary costs.

Last month, we exclusively revealed how security passwords for every school website were allegedly published online at its site itsc.co.uk due to a mishap at Southwest One.

For more details on the story, see this week’s Somerset County Gazette.

Comments (4)

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12:34pm Mon 28 Feb 11

Nell Bennett says...

..."Southwest One has been criticised for its high levels of secrecy since the outset while other critics see it as creating another layer of unnecessary costs."
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Secrecy shouldn't be allowed in a public organisation (outside the MOD). That's what the Freedom of Information Act sought to do - to protect the Public's best interests. We can't approve what we don't know about. We are supposed to have the right to know. Governmental services are supposed to be accountable to the electorate.
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Or am I harking from the wrong century?
..."Southwest One has been criticised for its high levels of secrecy since the outset while other critics see it as creating another layer of unnecessary costs." > > Secrecy shouldn't be allowed in a public organisation (outside the MOD). That's what the Freedom of Information Act sought to do - to protect the Public's best interests. We can't approve what we don't know about. We are supposed to have the right to know. Governmental services are supposed to be accountable to the electorate. > Or am I harking from the wrong century? Nell Bennett

2:15pm Mon 28 Feb 11

creecher says...

I must say i am amazed that south west one saved £5m in its first 5yrs but is still expected to save £175m in the next 5yrs. I wonder if the council will tell the public that the council are now forced to buy items through south west one at a much higher rate than before and a lot of the items are sub standard, its about time that legislation was put in place stopping councillors riding roughshod over democracy and stop them introducing major reforms unless they are mentioned during there election campaign.
I must say i am amazed that south west one saved £5m in its first 5yrs but is still expected to save £175m in the next 5yrs. I wonder if the council will tell the public that the council are now forced to buy items through south west one at a much higher rate than before and a lot of the items are sub standard, its about time that legislation was put in place stopping councillors riding roughshod over democracy and stop them introducing major reforms unless they are mentioned during there election campaign. creecher

8:20pm Tue 1 Mar 11

Mc@Cloud says...

Southwest one made the people who signed it alot of money.

I am calling for a goverment enquiry into the procurement of this contract its never going to save any money. It pretends its exempt from the freedom of information act. Colin Port Avon and Somerset Police signed it and his wife was the councils advisor on it and pocked over 200k for a few months work!

There was uproar about MP's expenses but this if it ever properly investigated this will make that look like pocket change
Southwest one made the people who signed it alot of money. I am calling for a goverment enquiry into the procurement of this contract its never going to save any money. It pretends its exempt from the freedom of information act. Colin Port Avon and Somerset Police signed it and his wife was the councils advisor on it and pocked over 200k for a few months work! There was uproar about MP's expenses but this if it ever properly investigated this will make that look like pocket change Mc@Cloud

5:13am Thu 3 Mar 11

old ironsides says...

Bloody employment agency again! cmon everyone stand back and see how Southwest one are just another agency that can charge twice as much as a normal employee, but embarassingly enough its at the taxpayers expense (again). I have delt with Southwest One when applying for work and like most agy's they like to promise things they cant supply! I was told that I was unsuitable for a particular job due to my qualifications and experience, I rang them to have a little chat and found that the reason they belived me to have none of the above was due to the person reviewing the CV's had no similar qualifications, so was not able to understand my CV, I had in fact all the right qualifications and enough experience to shake a stick at! They apologised for the offence taken, but i had missed out on a good position with great prospects because of their poorly qualified workforce! thanks but no thanks. Good comments on this one I had no idea they had their fingers in so many pies? does anyone know do they also print brocures? as the other day i found a tone lesure leflet with ' printed by southwest one '? does this mean they are making money by handling printing as well? criminal!
Bloody employment agency again! cmon everyone stand back and see how Southwest one are just another agency that can charge twice as much as a normal employee, but embarassingly enough its at the taxpayers expense (again). I have delt with Southwest One when applying for work and like most agy's they like to promise things they cant supply! I was told that I was unsuitable for a particular job due to my qualifications and experience, I rang them to have a little chat and found that the reason they belived me to have none of the above was due to the person reviewing the CV's had no similar qualifications, so was not able to understand my CV, I had in fact all the right qualifications and enough experience to shake a stick at! They apologised for the offence taken, but i had missed out on a good position with great prospects because of their poorly qualified workforce! thanks but no thanks. Good comments on this one I had no idea they had their fingers in so many pies? does anyone know do they also print brocures? as the other day i found a tone lesure leflet with ' printed by southwest one '? does this mean they are making money by handling printing as well? criminal! old ironsides

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