Strategic Partnership terminated by Bedfordshire County Council

The Strategic Service-delivery Partnership (SSP) between Bedfordshire County Council and HBS Business Services was terminated by the County Council in August 2005. Nearly 550 staff were transferred from HBS back to the County Council.

The report ‘Strategic Partnership in Crisis’ prepared by the Centre for Bedfordshire UNISON, published in April 2005, is available in the section on Strategic Partnerships in this library.

The council took over all HBS services, all the staff and assets involved in the delivery of those services. It paid HBS £6.75m to purchase assets such as IT, furniture and fittings and to acquire goodwill, contracts and services provided by HBS, including to schools and other organisations. This document sets out the rationale for terminating the contract and the terms of the agreement.

Bedfordshire County Council agreed a £267m Strategic Service-Delivery Partnership with HBS Business Services Group in June 2001 and transferred 550 staff to HBS. Bedfordshire UNISON commissioned the Centre to undertake an evaluation of the Strategic Partnership. The study revealed that the partnership was in crisis and had failed to deliver. The contract was terminated in August 2005.

The report revealed that HBS had failed to:

  • Improve the quality of services (top 25% Best Value performance was promised, yet performance of some indicators has declined);

  • The software system for schools failed to be implemented and the quality of support services to schools are in decline;

  • A promised National Centre of Excellence in Education has been continuously delayed and may never be established;

  • A Bedfordshire Regional Business Centre and new jobs failed to materialise.

  • The County Council has incurred substantial additional costs on the HBS Partnership which question whether the savings targets have been met.

HBS’s financial performance is deteriorating which is a major worry for staff and should be a major concern for the County Council.

The Centre examined County Council and partnership documents and interviewed several County Council and HBS staff.

Download the document which set out the rationale for terminating the contract and the terms of the agreement.

Beds Cover


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This document was created by Dexter Whitfield on 2008-03-29 09:28:05.
This document was last modified by Dexter Whitfield on 2015-09-22 16:22:10.
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