Richmond and Wandsworth finalise Capita shared finance deal
Authorities anticipate ongoing savings from a series of jointly procured contracts that will underpin staffing overhaul overseen by single chief executive
Richmond and Wandsworth councils have signed a contract with Capita Local Government for the provision of a joint finance system and related transactional services anticipated to save an estimated £6.8m.
Having announced that the company was chosen as preferred bidder to provide the shared financial service earlier this year, the two authorities have finalised the contract, which forms part of ongoing work to create a shared workforce arrangement.
"This will be one of the first jointly procured contracts with the town halls combining buying power to secure a better deal," said a statement announcing the deal.
Under the finalised agreement, devised as a means to streamline both authorities' existing accounting processes, Capita will provide the finance management system for an additional six years, with the option to extend for four more.
Further savings are also being targeted through a strategy that will aim to allow other councils to make use of the managed service provided to the two authorities through a 'pan-London framework' arrangement.
"Both authorities will continue to be separate sovereign bodies with their own elected councillors, cabinets and leaders," said an official statement on the agreement. "They will each maintain their own distinct identities and retain the ability to maintain and develop diverse policies and priorities that matter to their residents and businesses."
In attempting to adopt a staff sharing arrangement that will see officers employed by both Richmond and Wandsworth councils and overseen through a single chief executive, the two authorities each hope to save £10m a year.
Mark Chapman, business director for Capita Local Government, said the company would be using its Integra solution as part of the agreement in order to streamline how invoices can be processed, while also implementing business intelligence tools into the councils' supplier management functions.
Wandsworth's director of finance Chris Buss said the deal was expected to ensure improved value for money to taxpayers.
"This is a good early win for our joint working arrangement with Richmond and will deliver a saving for both councils which helps to protect front line services," he said.