GLASGOW has taken a step closer to securing a new IT contract to transform education and digital services across the city.
The council's Executive Committee has agreed to pursue a multi-million pound partnership with experts CGI - the firm that already provides services to the City of Edinburgh and Scottish Borders councils, as well as the Scottish Government.
The deal will not only secure support for the council's own IT systems, but underpin a step change in digital services - boosting education, health and jobs.
Chief Executive Annemarie O' Donnell said: "We can transform digital services across Glasgow.
"Redesigning our IT provision presents the opportunity to put the service at the heart of securing world-class digital learning in our schools - and at the forefront of breaking down the city's digital divide.
"We can deliver technology which improves the lives of our vulnerable citizens and supports our schools and new businesses with world-class network infrastructure.
"And we can support skills, jobs and even the health of our most vulnerable citizens."
The deal is an example of the public sector working together in a collaborative manner to achieve best value, as the council will be utilising a comprehensive and competitive procurement carried out by the City of Edinburgh Council for the benefit a number of public authorities, including Glasgow City Council.
Reports before committee highlighted an array of community, economic and social benefits which will be delivered over the next seven years - with a focus on a digital revolution in city classrooms.
· A dedicated Digital Learning team will ensure Glasgow's pupils benefit from world-class facilities and the best technological learning environment in the country.
· All pupils from P6 onwards will be given their own tablet device.
· New infrastructure to make Glasgow's schools the best connected in the UK - with all learners able to use their own devices.
HEALTH & CARE
· Increased support for data analysis will improve success rates in early intervention and better identify where assistive technology could help vulnerable people.
· Improved access to technology will enable new ways of delivery care services; allowing more people to receive care in their own home.
JOBS & BUSINESS
· Transform the job prospects of at least 700 Glaswegians - by sponsoring software development training for 100 long-term unemployed people every year.
· Ensure local SMEs receive business worth at 25% of all contract spend 2021.
· Dramatically increase the number of customer transactions that can be completed online - meeting customer expectations and reducing costs.
· Improved high-speed and wireless connectivity for all city libraries - allowing digitally deprived citizens to access services and other residents and visitors to use their own devices.
The contract will guarantee the jobs, pensions and pay and conditions of the current workforce. Staff currently seconded from Glasgow City Council to Access will be able to retain that status, if they choose to - remaining council employees, seconded to CGI.
CGI is already a significant employer in Glasgow, opening a new Open Digital Centre at the Innovo building in George Street - which is currently due to expand from 140 to 250 staff.
The firm is also investing in developing a skilled city workforce in the longer-term, by providing employment and training opportunities for local young people.
This includes sponsoring a degree programme at Glasgow Caledonian University, which enables students to study while developing a career with CGI.
Glasgow's IT services were outsourced nine years ago when it entered into a 10-year contract with Serco Limited to form the joint venture partnership, Access. That contract comes to an end on 31 March 2018 and cannot be extended beyond that date.
Members previously agreed that continuing to work with an external partner represents the best solution for the future of the service.
In line with government guidance, the council explored existing contracts put in place by other public sector organisations in Scotland - and completed this Outline Business Case based on the contract arrangement between City of Edinburgh Council and CGI. Procurement for this contract included 48 other public authorities, including Glasgow City Council.
Now that an Outline Business Case has been approved, a Full Business Case will now be developed over the summer; with a new service due in place by April 2018.
Additional benefits available under the deal include:
· Constantly-evolving 'Classrooms of the Future' - including innovation labs exploring new and emerging technologies to support out-of-school learning.
· Code clubs and other coaching programmes.
JOBS & BUSINESS
· Deliver world-class connectivity to the city's business incubators.
· Tackle the digital divide by working with a local social enterprise to put decommissioned council devices into the hands of those without access to technology.