Sandwell Council requests termination of partnership with BT

Last week, BT received a termination notice from Sandwell Council, signalling the end of a 15-year GBP 300 million strategic partnership. BT is now reviewing the terms laid out by the council. The Transform Sandwell partnership was implemented to improve the council’s IT infrastructure, HR, finance, payroll and customer services functions.

The move to terminate the partnership follows a dispute from earlier this year regarding a number of issues that the council was unhappy with. The council has previously requested a ‘remedial plan’ and a change request asking BT to recalculate the annual service charge as the service volumes delivered through the contract had reduced.

A council document regarding the dispute said: “A reduction in the workforce should have a corresponding reduction in volumes such as the size of the ICT estate, the payroll, HR support and budget holders. There have been volume reductions in invoices, the number of contracts administered and calls to the contact centre for some services.”

Sandwell council leader, Councillor Darren Cooper, said that the Cabinet “has approved a recommendation to start the process of ending our contract with BT. That termination will take effect in 30 days’ time unless BT puts right various defaults we have asked them to resolve. If we have to, I am confident we will be able to bring the services BT currently supplies to us back to the council and run them in the most effective way in future.”

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