04 October 2007
Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council have formed a joint venture worth £400 million with IBM to provide shared services across the county for the next 10 years.
The joint venture, called Southwest One, will deliver FM and property services, as well as HR, design, print and postal services, procurement, finance and ICT. The company will be run by staff seconded from both councils and IBM.
The venture is the first of its kind in South west England and builds on the success of other shared services initiatives in the UK. The joint venture includes a framework agreement entitling more than 30 other public sector organisations to acquire similar services through the partnership.
Richard Jones, government industry leader at IBM and acting chief executive of Southwest One said that the new venture will deliver "significantly improved services to both the authorities and the wider population of Somerset - by combining the breadth of IBM's managed service capabilities and the depth of council staff skills and experience."
Avon and Somerset Constabulary will work closely with the authorities as it works towards becoming the first police force in the country to join a joint venture arrangement to deliver shared services.