Commissioned by Council Leader Ken Maddock, the review was completed in June 2010. It recommends that Southwest One should be renegotiated to deliver “efficiencies”. This renegotiation project has been underway for several months.
The review highlighted areas of strengths and weaknesses. The positives include:
- A successful customer contact call centre
- Keeping down costs for the Council with better spending controls
- Hitting some savings targets
Criticisms in the report include:
- Some savings targets were not being met
- Acknowledgement of the widely reported problems with the introduction of the new purchasing system software system SAP
- Management and training weaknesses for staff transferring to Southwest One meant they were unclear “where allegiance lies”.
Some of the information in the report – commissioned in 2009 – including savings delivered through Somerset County Council’s contract, is now out-of-date. The current level of savings stands at £6m, with a further £60m in line to be delivered, ahead of an eventual target of in excess of £150m over the next seven years.
Cllr Maddock saud,
“This review was commissioned to give me detailed background into the performance and how the Southwest One contract was set up,”
“This review has now served its purpose and will be published on the council’s website so that residents can act as ‘armchair auditors’,” he said. “I hope our residents will be able to use it to build on their own knowledge and understanding of this complex partnership and contract.”
The county council’s area of the Southwest One contract – which also includes Taunton Deane Borough Council and Avon and Somerset Police in partnership with IBM – is currently being renegotiated alongside all other major contracts, after Somerset County Council made savings amounting to £34m following central government cuts in its funding.
You can download and read the report from the review here…. Read more
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