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Services extended

Councils agree longer ICT deals with CGI


Tara McGeehan and Lindsay McGranaghan at last year’s office launch (pic: Terry Murden)

Global ICT services company CGI has sealed two contract extensions with Scottish local authorities after some early delivery delays were resolved.

Scottish Borders Council is adding five years to its existing agreement with CGI to take it up to 2040 and providing long term stability to service plans.

The deal comes just days after NYSE-listed CGI signed a six-year extension to its contract with City of Edinburgh Council taking it through to 2029.

CGI will be leading the transition of a range of services on to digital platforms at both authorities.

The deal with Borders was originally sealed in 2016 as part of a 13-year contract, which was due to run until 2029. However, the council has agreed in principle to extend this to 2040, taking up the option of a six-year extension and adding another five.

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The initial deal included a plan to set up a Scottish ICT Delivery Centre of Excellence in the area with the council claiming it would inject more than £100 million into the local economy.

Audit Scotland last year questioned progress in realising the benefits from the initial deal. These included a delay in implementing a digital customer access system and the introduction of a Business World ERP system.

Council staff told the audit team that the new computer systems were often sluggish and that helpdesk support from CGI could be unresponsive.

The council acknowledged the delays but said both projects are now back on track following a reshaping of its transformation programme. It added that it expects this position to be reflected in its 2019-20 audit report.

Last Friday Edinburgh City Council announced an extension to its contract with CGI that it said will help with the transformation of services and create further savings.

Cammy Day, Depute council leader and Smart Cities lead, said: “We realised savings of £45m when our partnership began in 2015, with an additional £11m in 2018 and this extension will save the Council a further £12m at a time when our finances are under pressure.”

Lindsay McGranaghan, CGI’s vice president and business unit leader for Scotland, said Edinburgh is growing at twice the Scottish average.

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“This growth brings huge opportunities to develop a modern, digital infrastructure that meets the demands of 21st century living.”

Tara McGeehan, president of CGI’s operations in the UK and Australia, said: “At CGI our work on Smart Cities is incredibly important to us.

“We draw on experience from Montréal, Helsinki, and other cities around the world in bringing Smart Cities to life, and we take a pragmatic approach to enabling technology.”

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