Benefits outsourcing contract extended

A London council has extended a 10 year outsourcing contract for revenue collection and benefit assessment services for another 30 months.

Liberata originally won the £50m contract, covering administration and call centre functions for London Borough of Hounslow, from incumbent Serco in 2005.

The extension, worth £9.5m will see Liberata oversee the digital transformation of the services as the council looks to enable greater self-service and automation of business processes.

Councillor Theo Dennison, the council’s cabinet member for finance and citizen engagement, said: “The extension of the contract will streamline administrative services so we can save money for council taxpayers and free up funds for our priorities such as schools and care for older people.”

The council said that it had saved £22m through the contract so far, using methods including improved debt profiling.

It achieves tax collection rates of 97.85%, which it said was in the upper quartile for London.

Hounslow is one of only three local authorities in the country to maintain its council tax rate since 2006.

Vijay Chandiramani, chief operating officer of local government business process services at Liberata, said: “Local authorities continue to face the challenge of delivering greater efficiencies in response to tightening budgets, meaning service innovation is key.

“Our work with Hounslow is a great example of how we are using the know how we have collected from working in the revenue collection and benefits space to deliver a low risk, high value service.”

Colin Marrs

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