Liverpool seeks replacement ICT suppliers

Liverpool City Council is set to launch a series tenders worth up to £36m to replace ICT, telephony and contact centre services previously provided through its cancelled joint venture with supplier BT.

In October, the council took back responsibility for the previously outsourced services after failing to renegotiate the contract with Liverpool Direct Limited.

And now the council is looking for suppliers to provide the services by issuing four prior information notices through the Official Journal of the European Union.

The first tender, worth up to £20m is for the replacement of its existing contact centre provision. The second, for £15m relates to its IP telephony platform.

Another, for the provision, maintenance and ongoing support of the network and telephony infrastructure for Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre is worth £660,000.

And the final tender, estimated at £429,000, is for the provision of hardware and software to the council.

Earlier this year, the council said that it would save £30m over the next three years by ending the joint venture arrangements.

In February, the council voted to end its Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) arrangement with BT after negotiations over a reduction in the contract price ended in stalemate.

The ownership of Liverpool Direct was fully transferred to Liverpool City Council on 31 October, and the company will cease to trade after the 31 March 2015.

In November Burnley Borough Council bucked the current trend for in-sourcing from large long-term outsourcing contracts by launching a  tender for backroom services, including ICT, which could be worth £118m over ten years for itself and two other councils.

Colin Marrs

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