News : City Council's Capita Contract Will be Published
Jan 10, 2014 -- The controversial IT and call centre contract between Birmingham City Council and Capita will be published following a petition.
Council leader Sir Albert Bore confirmed that he is pushing for the outsourcing deal to be published 'sooner rather than later'.
The council has been paying Capita each year, much of it on an IT contract which runs until 2020.
But critics claim the contract is a poor deal for taxpayers at a time of austerity.
Economist David Bailey last month launched a petition calling for the contract to be published online - and it has so far been signed by 278 people.
But quizzed over the petition Labour leader Sir Albert Bore said the work was already under way and had been for several months.
He said: "I don't know why there's currently a petition on this issue. A redacted version of the Capita contract is being prepared for publication.
"That decision was taken several months ago and announced by the chief executive."
He said that lawyers for both the City Council and Capita are pouring over the contract to agree what should be made public - with areas of commercial confidentiality likely to be withheld. "I can't give a date, but I want it sooner rather than later," he said.
Governance scrutiny committee chairman Carl Rice suggested that there could be a long wait. "Lawyers charge by the hour," he said.
But petitioners and councillors were unaware of any announcement, believed to have been made by chief executive Stephen Hughes in a radio interview last autumn.
One councillor who signed the petition, Philip Parkin (Cons, Sutton Trinity) said: "Shame they didn't tell anyone."
The City Council last month announced it was considering walking away from the contract unless Capita negotiates a cut in the costs.
Next year's draft budget allows for a cut in the core IT deal.
But officials are working out the cost of cancellation and setting up in house or alternate supplier to ensure the best deal for the taxpayer.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Birmingham City Council is the local government body responsible for the governance of the City of Birmingham in England, which has been a metropolitan district since 1974.
Published: Monday, January 13, 2014