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Analysis: How did the coronavirus affect local government IT spending?

Credit: PA

Recently, it was revealed that the Worcestershire County Council is hoarding £ 20,000 of critical IT items by the end of this year to prevent the expected negative impact of the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st. became.

Quickfire procurement exercises suggest that next year can be a difficult year for local governments planning to invest in IT or digital services.

And an analysis of government data performed by Public Technology Shows that the impact of Covid-19 has already significantly reduced local government spending on technology, both operational and financially.

In the third quarter of 2020, sector-wide spending on IT products, technology services, and software development was significantly lower than in the year-ago quarter, significantly lowering the number and value of transactions.

Data from GOV. The UK Contracts Finder service indicates that during the first three months of July, a total of 278 incentive notices were issued by local governments regarding contracts dealing with the provision of technology products and services. These transactions were worth a total of £ 77.76 million to the supplier in question. That’s an average of £ 282,781 per contract.

Last year’s corresponding period figures show that 307 IT contracts were awarded in the third quarter of 2019. These represent a total of £ 97.32 million, almost £ 20 million higher than the 2020 figures. The average trading value worth was £ 321,197.

This means that the volume of contracts awarded in the third quarter of 2020 decreased by 9.45% compared to the previous year. Cumulative contracts decreased by 20.1% year-on-year, while average contract size decreased by 12%.

In the third quarter of 2019, several authorities invested in an ambitious and broad transformation program.


Municipal IT and Digital Procurement in Q3 2020

278 contracts awarded
9.45% decrease from the previous year

Cumulative amount £ 77.76 million
20.1% decrease from the previous year

£ 282,781 Average Trading Value
12% decrease from the previous year


Among these was the Leeds City Council, which led the creation of the £ 10m framework, founded in September 2019, to allow public sector organizations in the Yorkshire and Hamburg regions to procure agile development and support services.

The procurement document states: “Requirements under the framework consist of: Business analysis / discovery (organization, people, processes, and / or technology) for making change recommendations. Product design, development, test. [and] Product delivery and ongoing support, or knowledge transfer and appropriate documented hand-over. “

While it wasn’t without millions of pounds in the third quarter of this year, larger investments tended to require software updates rather than spending on new technologies and transformation initiatives.

The Liverpool City Council also made some major investments in the third quarter of last year. The biggest and most visionary was £ 3.4 million spent by authorities on a five-year “agile workplace transformation” contract. Launched in July 2019, the agreement covered the implementation and ongoing management of virtual desktop products. This will definitely help when switching to large-scale telecommuting this year.

While it wasn’t without millions of pounds in the third quarter of this year, larger investments tended to require software updates rather than spending on new technologies and transformation initiatives.

Both the Cambridgeshire County Council and the Wolverhampton City Council signed new three-year Microsoft Enterprise contracts in the third quarter at costs of £ 5.45 million and £ 5.77 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Derbyshire County Council spent £ 4.9 million on a five-year contract for an SAP license.

In addition to this high spending, there were many examples of Congress using digital services to respond to the coronavirus. Among these was Hackney’s London borough, which spent £ 89,250 on a project to create a “front door” on a website for all pandemic-related services and information. This feature was built by diverting tools and platforms created through previous transformation projects dedicated to housing and benefits services.

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday, December 8) Public Technology will be attended by Pam Smith, CEO of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, and David Hipwell, Sales Lead of Municipalities at SAP Concur, to investigate digital transformation and financing of local governments. Webinar discussions and Q & A for the audience. Challenges to face in the coming months.

Registration is Free in the public sector – Click here to sign up or find out more.

Analysis: How did the coronavirus affect local government IT spending?

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