Job spec for senior Birmingham IT post looks towards end of Service Birmingham ICT deal
Key element of Assistant Director ICT and Digital Services and CIO role will be to “oversee the effective closedown of the current Service Birmingham ICT contract”
An advertisement for a senior technology position within Birmingham City Council appears to cast doubt on the future direction of any outsourced ICT Services within the council after the end of the Service Birmingham contract in 2021.
The advertisement specifically states that one of the responsibilities of the contract will be “to jointly oversee the effective closedown of the current Service Birmingham ICT Contract.”
It follows the publication of an advertisement for a single Assistant Director ICT and Digital Services and CIO role with the council, which has appeared on a public sector jobs site .
Under the job description, the advertisement discusses Service Birmingham in the context of ‘key results areas.’ It says:
Key Results Areas:
- To provide visionary strategic leadership for ICT and digital (ICT&D) services for the council, service users, external partners and for wider community development.
- To lead the ICT&D strategy delivery and enable the creation of a Future Operating Model (FOM) to deliver it in the context of a planned exit from the Service Birmingham contract in 2021.
- To deliver the design, develop and enable outcomes over the next 48 months, over 3 principal phases of activity. These phases represent the primary areas of focus for the job although a degree of overlap is anticipated:-
In terms of design, the immediate focus for the next year ‘months 0 – 12’ is:
- To develop an ICT&D strategy which enables increased access for service users to services and at the same time develops capability and knowledge within the community which in turn improves people’s lives.
- To oversee the development of the future strategy with Service Birmingham.
- To lead the design and transition of a sourcing strategy that will go beyond the existing Service Birmingham contract.
It goes on: Enabling – Long term focus (months 24 to 48)
- To fully implement the Future Operating Model for ICT&D, ensuring that it is set up for success. This includes the establishment of measurement systems to demonstrate on-going continuous performance improvement and the business value delivered by ICT&D.
- To work with business stakeholders to move the organisation to an increasingly agile state of continuous business transformation.
- To jointly oversee the effective closedown of the current Service Birmingham ICT contract.
The council has yet to clarify whether at the end of the contract it plans to bring ICT services back in house, which appears more likely. However, it may yet opt for further outsourcing at the end of the contract.
However, in a statement, Nigel Kletz, director of commissioning and procurement for Birmingham City Council, said: “The current Service Birmingham contract has four years still to run (until 2021), so this role will lead the implementation of the ICT and digital strategy, which includes developing a transition programme to identify and then implement ICT delivery options going forward.
“Decisions on how ICT support is provided from 2021 onwards are yet to be taken.”
Capita, which jointly owns Service Birmingham with Birmingham City Council, said it had nothing to add to the council’s statement.
Public sector analysis group Kable’s research director Alan Mo said, “When it comes to ICT, Birmingham is the largest spending council in the UK. Given what's at stake, we cannot over emphasise the importance of early planning. Suppliers should begin thinking about their acquisition strategy. The first task is to track who fills the vacant position, as one of the immediate priorities for the new Assistant Director is to lead the design of a post-Service Birmingham sourcing strategy and drive the transition.
“As we know, Service Birmingham has been under a huge amount of scrutiny over the past few years. Given the trends in local government, it would not surprise us if Birmingham prefers to go down the in-sourcing path; the council has already opted to take back contact centre services. The more savvy suppliers will already be planning propositions and messages about how they could help support the tricky transition – whether that’s taking services back in-house or migrating to a new provider.”