Plug pulled on ICT deal between Islington, Camden and Haringey

Islington Town Hall.Picture:Ken Mears

Islington Town Hall.Picture:Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

The plug has been pulled on a tri-borough ICT partnership between Islington, Haringey and Camden due to “different local priorities”.

The deal, which was struck in October 2016, was sold as being economical and providing a more efficient service – and all boroughs claim their annual savings of £2.4million, or £800,000 each, will continue because of joint technology and shared procurement contracts.

Under the current deal, Camden hosts the Shared Digital Service, as well as employing all staff and commissioning contractors. But this will soon cease, when the deal ends on December 31, with most workers returning to their respective borough.

Cabinet reports published by Haringey and Camden revealed the boroughs were withdrawing from the pact.

Camden’s report read: “It has become clear the commitment to the long-standing core principles are no longer shared and it is therefore no longer possible or practical to implement a shared service.”

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The core principles of the “high trust model” are shared spending and “transparent engagement” across all areas of ICT and digital services.

The Gazette asked each borough what their tech and ICT needs now are but none responded directly.

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The Camden report also states: “Camden and Haringey may explore the potential for some joint working in the future”.

This was echoes by the Haringey report, which said: “Where possible the council may seek to work closely again with Camden in the future as and when it is mutually beneficial to do so.”

The Gazette understands there is no rift with Islington, but Haringey and Camden simply have similar “digital objectives”.

Islington must wait until its executive meets in two weeks time before issuing its own report.

In a joint statement, the boroughs said: “Since 2016, this ICT partnership has delivered improvements, including better collaboration tools; flexible, secure systems; and better working on the move. It has also delivered savings at a time of increasing financial pressures, in a climate of ongoing huge Government cuts to council budgets.

“We have agreed each council will now operate its own ICT and digital function.

“We will continue to benefit from the improvements and financial savings, but it is now time to change our approach to ensure future IT strategy is best for each council.

“This approach will allow us to deliver the most important projects for residents at a time of increasing pressure on all services, and we will continue to share expertise and knowledge with colleagues locally.”

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