Arun District Council has launched a new framework enabling 28 authorities to buy financial management software from a single supplier.
It is part of the council’s wider aim to “foster collaborative procurement and efficiencies”.
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) was chosen as the framework’s single supplier following a tendering process. The first purchase to be made through the framework will be Arun’s implementation of the e5 system, which will replace its current in-house finance and debtor management systems.
Arun reportedly sought a “fully supported and integrated solution” to better the quality of and access to financial information for council members, officers and managers.
It is hoped that the new software, which is set to go live in April next year, will also help streamline reporting.
What are the terms of the four-year agreement?
The agreement means that 28 district and borough councils across East and West Sussex and Surrey will be able to use the framework to acquire Advanced’s e5 system and “associated maintenance” up to £1.7 million.
Authorities can save time by liaising directly with Advanced to identify their finance system solution requirements.
‘Working better together’
Paul Symes, programme manager at Arun District Council, commented on the thinking behind the new innovative framework.
“We wanted to create a unique framework to reflect our ethos of working better together with neighbouring authorities and increase collaboration.
“As there are only seven councils located within West Sussex, we wanted to extend our invitation to other authorities in nearby regions to use the framework to drive economies of scale.”
He added that the council has been “impressed” by the Advanced team and “look forward” to collaborating with them to introduce the new e5 system.
Dean Dickinson, Managing Director, Advanced Business Solutions (Public Sector & Enterprise division), said of the agreement:
“We are delighted to have been chosen as the winning contractor on this unique single supplier framework. Arun’s forward-thinking vision enables other local authorities in the surrounding areas to replace their current, outdated accounting systems by implementing Advanced’s software within a much shorter timescale.
“The framework also offers an opportunity for councils to consider collaborating effectively within a shared services environment to maximise cost and efficiency savings.”
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