Joint venture means staff and services will be tansferred to private company

Joint venture means staff and services will be tansferred to private company

BARKING and Dagenham council has avoided outsourcing staff by entering a joint venture with a private company.

UK company Agilisys will take over vital tasks after it signed a seven-year contract with the council as a jointly owned business to make savings.

Under the new contract, the council will share services such as IT, customer service centre, computer services and systems, Revenues and Benefits, procurement functions and systems, payments, information requests and the processing of applications, with Agilisys.

A spokesman for the council said the move would create “some several hundred jobs in the next seven years” while council employees in the affected departments would transfer to the company.

The council’s chief executive David Woods said: “Barking and Dagenham Council is committed to delivering excellent customer services and value for money in the services it provides to local people, but the harsh reality of the financial pressures we face mean we have to do things differently to ensure that we make savings and economies while still delivering the services local people expect and deserve.

“The council has spent two years creating a joint venture and finding the right private sector partner to make this work to everybody’s benefit.

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“Our private sector partner brings business management skills and expertise that we just don’t have in the council and they are highly experienced in transforming and delivering the kind of council functions that will now be transferred to the joint venture.”

The borough will be the company’s regional base from where it will also deal with other clients.

Agilysys employs 1,300 employees and has nine offices in the UK and one in Mumbai, India.

Its clients include BSkyB, AOL, First Choice Homes and a number of local authorities across the country.