Public Services > Devolved

Glasgow weighs up CGI bid to provide IT services under Edinburgh framework

David Bicknell Published 13 March 2017

City council juggles discussions with CGI while trying to maintain constructive relations with current provider Serco


Glasgow City Council has said it has received a bid from the Canadian IT services company CGI to deliver IT services under the framework contract CGI currently has with the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).

The deal would be a successor to the existing ACCESS contract that Glasgow currently has with Serco, which is due to run out at the end of March 2018. There is no built-in provision for renewing the contract.

Glasgow officials say they are now considering the CGI bid and are weighing up whether to recommend it to the full council. If they back the CGI bid, it will require a separate council vote. If not,  Glasgow will have to consider its options, which may mean having to go out to tender.

However, with only around a year until the end of the Serco contract – and an open tender process likely to take a year at least to complete – if it does not agree a deal with CGI under the framework, the city council risks having to consider extending its Serco contract until a new winning bidder has emerged and any transitional arrangements agreed.

The Edinburgh framework contract - agreed in August 2015 – was a seven-year £186m transformational outsourced ICT services deal which anticipated efficiency and cost savings of £45m over the seven year term.

The framework has already been adopted by Scottish Borders Council which concluded its own separate deal with CGI valued at £92.5m over a 13-year term.

At the same time as discussing CGI’s bid, Glasgow is also having to tread on eggshells over its relationship with Serco.

It is understood that Glasgow only resumed discussions with CGI in mid-February having had to pause work in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing procurement process, following the threat of a legal challenge from Serco.

In a statement then, Faye Shaw, managing director of Serco’s Citizen Services business said, “We were concerned by Glasgow City Council’s decision to negotiate directly with CGI rather than hold a competitive tender process to find the best value solution, like the process carried out by Edinburgh.

“We therefore wrote to the council in December seeking clarification on the legal basis for the procurement process they followed. We are proud to have been the council’s trusted partner and of all that has been achieved through the ACCESS joint venture, and would very much welcome the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Glasgow.”

Looming council elections on May 4 may also have an impact on the CGI contract discussions. It is unclear whether any agreement could be concluded before the elections take place, though it may be in the council’s interest to conclude one to provide clarity to Glasgow electors.

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