Public Services > Central Government

Service Birmingham review expected next month

David Bicknell Published 20 November 2012

Review set to discuss whether Capita relationship is delivering service improvements


A review by the new Labour administration at Birmingham city council into Service Birmingham's joint venture with Capita is expected to report in early December.

The assessment, into whether the joint venture is delivering service improvements, has been underway since Labour was elected in May. A spokesman told Government Computing that the result of the review was due 'in weeks.'

On taking power, the new administration commissioned the analysis to investigate whether Service Birmingham was delivering value for money. Although the Labour group said in May that it accepted that the relationship with Capita has delivered financial savings, it said it wanted to ascertain whether the relationship has also delivered service improvements.

According to the Labour group when it took power, a number of councillors wanted better visibility of the service improvements that the outsourcing relationship was delivering.

"The description of value for money covers two elements: the savings generated and the service delivered. For example, are messages received at the contact centre being processed and acted upon? It has not been easy for councillors before now to get a clear picture of how Service Birmingham is performing," Ian Ward, deputy leader of the Labour group said.

Service Birmingham was first set up in 2006 as a joint venture between Birmingham city council and Capita to help drive service transformation across the authority.

Its goal was to improve services, cut costs, increase employee motivation and benefit local citizens. The partnership was extended from an original 10-year contract by five years until 2021, and also expanded to include a revenues service which has been in operation since April 2011.

According to Capita, the business transformation programme has implemented technological capabilities that allowed the council to deliver around £244m worth of savings by early 2011. The programme is on track to deliver savings of more than £1bn over 10 years.


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