Hillingdon invests £4 million to focus on service delivery

The council builds on its innovative history by handing over the reins of key business applications to Northgate Information Solutions

Hillingdon Council is injecting 4 million into outsourcing some of its core business applications so that it can reduce back-office administration and focus on enhancing the services it delivers to its quarter of a million residents.

This latest initiative complements Hillingdon's previous efforts to harness technology and meet e-government objectives to the advantage of the council, its employees and people living in the borough.

Since the introduction of a targeted transformation plan, dubbed the Hillingdon Improvement Programme (HIP), in 2003, the council has generated almost 10 million in savings.

"Hillingdon's ICT investment in the past four years has created a firm platform on which to build wider transformation," said Steve Palmer, the borough's head of ICT and the UK Technology Innovation and Growth awards' 2006 Public Sector Innovator of the Year, in a statement issued last year.

He added: "Hillingdon's approach has been to invest in technology solutions that enable and sustain council-wide improvement...The real significance lies in the fact that these investments have created the foundations on which the council will develop further improvements and efficiencies in 2006 and beyond."

Building on this success, today the London borough announced that it has signed a five-year deal with Northgate Information Solutions, who will take over the management reins to host and support the council's financial, social care and planning systems.

Northgate already looks after the borough's revenues, benefits and housing applications, bringing the total number of systems under its care to six.

In addition to maintaining and upgrading the environment, the software application and outsourcing solution provider will also be charged with helping Hillingdon to plan for future changes and be more proactive IT-wise, rather than being reactive to events.

"The council wished to create greater capacity to concentrate on service delivery with the successful supplier understanding our priorities and sharing our goals," said Councillor Jonathan Bianco, Cabinet Member for Finance and Business Services at the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Terry Woodhouse, managing director of local government at Northgate Managed Services, added: "As the current provider of three of the council's key service applications, Northgate is proud to deepen our relationship with Hillingdon and establish a true partnership, centred on the business needs of the organisation.

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