Richmond and Wandsworth Councils have today signed a contract to jointly appoint Capita Local Public Services to provide a new joint finance system and a range of transactional services in a deal that will save local taxpayers around £6.8m.
The contract, which will run for six years with the option of a four year extension, is set to update and streamline existing accounting processes.
The two London authorities are in the process of forming a shared workforce to serve both boroughs. This will be one of the first jointly procured contracts with the town halls combining buying power to secure a better deal.
Chris Buss, director of finance at the London Borough of Wandsworth, said:
“Capita has the experience, resource and expertise we are looking for and this new contact will deliver real value for money for local taxpayers. This is a good early win for our joint working arrangement with Richmond and will deliver a saving for both councils which helps to protect front line services.”
Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for finance, said:
“I am delighted to welcome yet another example of the determination of this Council to save money through back office efficiencies. In controlling our finances we aim to secure for our residents the service provider who best offers a combination of quality and price. This is what we have achieved. I am convinced that as well as saving both Councils money Capita will provide a high quality service for our councils and our residents.”
Mark Chapman, business director for Capita Local Public Services, said:
“We are pleased to be expanding our transactional finance services and use of our Integra solution across two new boroughs, supporting the joint working arrangements underway across Wandsworth and Richmond Councils. This new framework agreement means we will be working with both councils to promote this model across London – ensuring that public sector bodies can benefit from the opportunity to reduce their back office costs and improve efficiencies.”
Capita’s Integra system is expected to offer significant time savings by speeding up invoice processing and other tasks, as well as offering a suite of business intelligence tools which allow for better supplier management.
The contract also establishes a pan-London framework that will allow other councils to use the Wandsworth and Richmond managed service solution, which could lead to greater savings in the years ahead.
The staff sharing arrangement between Richmond and Wandsworth will see council officers jointly employed by both authorities and will be managed by a single chief executive. This is expected to deliver savings of around £10m a year for each council.
Both authorities will continue to be separate sovereign bodies with their own elected councillors, cabinets and leaders. They will each maintain their own distinct identities and retain the ability to maintain and develop diverse policies and priorities that matter to their residents and businesses.
In February 2015, the Government backed the sharing plans with £3m from its “Transformation Challenge Awards” which supports innovations that improve and protect public services and reduce the cost to taxpayers.