GROUPE STERIA : Steria signs Euro 39.5 million (31m Pounds) deal with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

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Steria, the European IT enabled business services company, today announces a 12-year, ¤39.5 million (£31 m) deal with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to provide ICT, council tax, benefits, customer contact centre, reception and switchboard services. The partnership, which will go live in January 2009, aims to improve efficiencies at the council, provide better services for Welwyn Hatfield's 100,000 citizens and ensure a projected saving of ¤634,000 (£500,000) per annum.

Working from a centre of excellence in Welwyn Hatfield, Steria will improve the quality and efficiency of the council's service delivery, helping to free up staff and resources for investment into frontline services. Using best in class business process and software, the partnership will provide customers with more choice, greater accessibility and quicker response times.

The partnership is an industry first for Steria, establishing its first revenues and benefits BPO contract in local Government. A total of 68 staff in the customer contact centre, ICT, revenues and benefits departments will transfer to Steria to deliver the programme. Steria intends to use the Welwyn Hatfield Council centre of excellence as a hub for a future shared service involving other local authorities in Hertfordshire and beyond.

“The council's key aim is to deliver high quality, value for money services ”, commented Bob Jewell, chief resources officer at Welwyn Hatfield Council. “Steria has a wealth of experience in the sector and really understands the specific needs of a borough council. We're glad to be working with them to ensure we continue to provide excellent quality of services for our citizens.”

Paul Sellick, director of Public Authorities Group at Steria says, “We are delighted to be working with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and believe that our partnership will significantly improve the way in which the council interacts with and supports their local community. This contract is also an important landmark for Steria, signalling the advent of our BPO outsourcing at a local Government level and creating a future base for local shared service development.”

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is responsible for a population of approximately 106,500 in central Hertfordshire. It includes the main towns of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield with smaller towns and villages including Brookmans Park, Cuffley, Welham Green and Welwyn.

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