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Serco signs £200m strategic partnership with Hertfordshire County Council

Date: 24 Nov 2010

Serco Group plc (Serco), the international service company, announces today that it has signed a new contract with Hertfordshire County Council to deliver a ground-breaking strategic partnership which will save millions of pounds and improve the delivery of services to citizens across the county.

Under this new contract, Serco will transform the Council's internal business processes, significantly develop customer services and achieve efficiency savings of at least £25m. The new contract, due to commence in April next year is valued at up to £200m over an eight-year period, with savings to the council increasing in line with the total value of the contract.

We will provide a range of front and back office operations including information, communications and technology services, wider business processes such as finance, payroll and HR as well support services such as facilities management, customer contact centres and occupational health. Customer services will continue to be based locally using Hertfordshire County Council offices. Over 400 employees are expected to TUPE transfer to Serco as part of the new service arrangements.

Under the partnership agreement, these shared services and enhanced capabilities will also be offered to other public sector bodies in the area including Hertfordshire's ten district councils and the county's police authority, enabling them to achieve efficiencies in the services that they provide.

Serco will work in partnership with the Council to enhance and re-define the role of the contact centre, redesigning processes and introducing a range of innovative customer service practices drawing on our wider experience in areas such as transport and business support, to ensure a higher number of enquiries are resolved at the first point of contact. All service areas will be considered for inclusion in the approach including Highways, Environment, Children's and Adults' services. This will allow resources to be targeted more effectively to maximise service improvement benefits to citizens and efficiencies for the Council.

In addition, we will deliver improvements to internal services by re-engineering systems and processes to reduce duplication and bureaucracy, and by introducing more flexible communications and technology services that allow staff to be more productive when working away from the office.

The new contract builds on Serco's 18-year track record of successfully delivering support services to the Council, and is significantly larger in scope and value than the existing £8m per annum service.

Councillor David Lloyd, Executive Member for Resources at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "This contract will make it easier for people to access council services and make a significant contribution to the savings we must make over the next few years. In total, this new contract will save us at least £25m during its lifetime, and I trust considerably more.

"The new arrangement with Serco will allow us to make our services even more efficient and save taxpayers' money by sharing the contractual arrangements with district and borough councils and the police authority in Hertfordshire. This means that they have the opportunity to buy into the contract should they wish to do so and share services such as IT, payroll, HR and call centres."

Christopher Hyman, Chief Executive of Serco Group plc said: "I am delighted that we have been selected to deliver this ground breaking partnership with Hertfordshire County Council. We are committed to delivering substantial improvements in these important services which will bring benefits for the Council and local communities across Hertfordshire. This decision reflects our strong track record for innovation in the delivery of high quality and efficient services for Hertfordshire and our customers around the world."

- Ends -

For further information please contact Serco:
Jill Sherratt, Interim Head of Investor Relations T +44 (0) 208 334 4122
Dominic Cheetham, Director of Corporate Communications T +44 (0) 208 334 4334
Marcus De Ville, Head of Media Relations T +44 (0) 208 334 4388

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Last Updated: 24 Nov 2010