IBM Signs Deal With Essex County Council

(Telegraph) – ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL has signed a £5.4 billion deal with IBM. The council expect it will save 20 per cent of the authority’s £1.2 billion budget in the next three years.

Recently, unions and Labour ministers attacked Tory-run Barnet Council for adopting the so-called “EasyCouncil” model of supplying public services. Central to the move is more efficient outsourcing that costs the council less.

The system in Essex will see IBM analyse the services the council provides. A decision will then be taken on whether the services – including schools management, roads, libraries and other social services – can be out-sourced or kept in-house.

Eric Pickles, a former local councillor and now an Essex MP and Conservative Party Chairman, said: “I certainly think this is the future and we will be watching developments in Essex very closely.”

IBM’s success in Canada in similar projects helped Essex County Council make its decision. Senior Conservatives have repeatedly pointed to Canada as an example of how a large national deficit can be paid down with strict public spending cuts and efficiency savings.

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