Major UK Government contract will transform shared services and help drive Civil Service reform

Steria has been selected to partner with the Cabinet Office to form a joint venture, Shared Services Connected Ltd. (SSCL). The deal will save taxpayers’ money by consolidating the government’s back office functions. SSCL will deliver shared procurement, finance and HR services to government customers including DWP, Defra, the Environment Agency and UK SBS*, with potential to expand its services to these and other public and private sector organisations in future.

Steria Limited, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services, headquartered in Hemel Hempstead, has been selected by the Cabinet Office to lead Shared Services Connected Ltd. (SSCL), a joint venture which will transform the way that shared back office services are delivered across the public sector.

In a contract potentially worth in excess of £1bn over 10 years, the move forms part of the government’s Next Generation Shared Services (NGSS) programme which is a key element of the Civil Service Reform agenda for a more cost-effective and unified Civil Service. The overall transformation of government’s back office functions, including NGSS, is expected to deliver between £400 and £600 million per annum for the UK taxpayer.

Through Shared Services Connected Ltd. (SSCL), Steria will work in partnership with the government to consolidate existing service centres for DWP, Defra, the Environment Agency and in scope services of UK SBS*. SSCL will enable economies of scale, the adoption of common processes and systems, and continuous improvement in the range and quality of services offered to its customers. The company will deliver a new ICT platform and, leveraging Steria’s business intelligence, analytics technologies, consulting expertise and insight, will use data from the new platform to drive even greater benefits including savings and other business efficiencies for customers of the new organisation.

Shared Services Connected Ltd. will be a UK tax-paying business that will contribute to growth and job creation in this country. SSCL will invest in technologies and skills to create UK centres of excellence which will not only improve levels of service, but will stimulate innovation, create high-value jobs and develop skills in the UK.

SSCL will be an independent joint venture between Steria Limited (75%) and the Government (25%). It will serve up to 160,000 current users across 13 different public sector organisations. Around 1200 staff who currently work in the delivery centres for DWP, Defra and EA, will transfer to the new company on 1 November 2013. UK SBS is expected to join by 2015.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, commented, "Steria Limited has set out a compelling vision for how they will work with us to help government deliver back office functions more efficiently and, ultimately, more competitively. A key part of the Civil Service Reform plan is making government more unified, and enabling civil servants to focus on delivering exceptional public services.

It makes sense for government departments, agencies and public bodies to share services and pool expertise, so that hard-working taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for duplicate services. Instead they will be able to focus on providing services rather than managing back office functions. This is a great partnership which will promote the kind of growth that sees profits delivered back to the taxpayer and will help Britain compete in the global race."

John Torrie, Chief Executive Officer, Steria Limited, said, "Steria has already demonstrated its leadership in shared services over the past few years. Our joint venture with the Department of Health, NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) is a great example of how shared services, delivered at scale, can enable tangible savings for UK Government. We will be bringing this experience, as well as our extensive private sector knowledge, to bear in the new Shared Services Connected Ltd. organisation. We are committed to adding value in terms of improved quality of existing services, developing new services for the foundation organisations and attracting new clients into the service in future. We are delighted to be able to play our part in helping the UK Government address its efficiency challenges and transform its ways of working. Through working in true partnership, we want to build a sustainable growth model that will create new UK job opportunities in future and deliver long term benefits to the UK economy."

DWP - Department for Work and Pensions

Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

EA - The Environment Agency

UK SBS - UK Shared Business Services, providing shared services to Research Councils UK and other non-government department bodies