Lincolnshire

County council set to extend Serco contract, minus some services

Lincolnshire County Council is poised to extend its contract with Serco for another two years, but will bring some functions in-house.

The council has scrutinised the company’s performance since it began its £70 million IT, finance, HR and customer services contract in April 2015.

This included progress since a list of blunders made headlines, including incorrect payments to teachers and other public sector workers.

The five-year contract with Serco is due to expire at the end of March 2020.

Council officers have recommended that Serco, which employs 400 staff in Lincoln, continues providing IT, payroll, HR, customer services, exchequer services and adult care finance until the end of March 2022.

Some services will be taken on in-house such as Freedom of Information, complaints and information governance and the Agresso system administration.

Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor Martin Hill, said: “Serco are now meeting the performance targets we have set for them, and are overall offering a good service.

“For them to continue providing these services when the current contract is due to end, still represents good value for money.

“Council officers have been looking at the options now so that, if changes were made, there was plenty of time to implement those.

“However, continuing with Serco as our provider means we can make more progress on the longer-term IT projects they are already underway with and avoid extra time and costs on these projects.”

The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will consider the recommendations on September 27 before the council’s Executive take a final decision on October 2.

Serco’s Mark Bennett, Director for Strategic Partnerships, who manages the contract at Lincolnshire said: “Following the initial challenges, which we all recognise existed at the beginning of the contract, our people have worked extremely hard and are passionate and proud of the services they provide.

“We have invested in considerable extra resources and capability over the last few years to transform the level of service that we are providing in Lincolnshire.

“We now believe that our performance is in line with the council’s expectations and we are confident we can go forward and continue to offer value to the residents of Lincolnshire.”