Advanced wins finance framework battle for 28 councils

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Arun District Council in Sussex organised the beauty contest to cut software costs for itself and neighbours

Arun District Council in Sussex has created a pioneering new framework to allow 28 authorities to purchase financial management software from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). The move is part of a drive to foster collaborative procurement and efficiencies.

Following a formal tendering process involving ten software providers, Advanced has been selected as the framework’s single supplier. The first purchase made via the framework will see Arun implement the e5 solution to replace its in-house finance and debtor management systems. The software will go-live in April 2016.

Under the terms of the four-year agreement, 28 district and borough councils situated in East and West Sussex and Surrey may also use the framework to purchase e5 and associated maintenance worth up to £1.7 million. Councils can negotiate directly with Advanced and specify their finance system solution requirements, without needing to go through a lengthy tendering and evaluation process to determine the most suitable supplier.

cash money financialsPaul Symes, programme manager at Arun District Council, said: “We wanted to create a unique framework to reflect our ethos of working better together with neighbouring authorities and increase collaboration. As there are only seven councils located within West Sussex, we wanted to extend our invitation to other authorities in nearby regions to use the framework to drive economies of scale.”

Arun sought a robust, fully supported and integrated solution to improve the quality of and access to financial information for council members, senior officers and budget managers. The organisation also required more streamlined reporting functionality with less duplication of effort by eliminating its reliance on third party systems and interfaces.

Dean Dickinson, managing director for Advanced Business Solutions’ Public Sector & Enterprise division, said: “Arun’s forward-thinking vision enables other local authorities in the surrounding areas to replace their current, outdated accounting systems by implementing Advanced’s software within a much shorter timescale.

The framework also offers an opportunity for councils to consider collaborating effectively within a shared services environment to maximise cost and efficiency savings.”