Six London boroughs have agreed to implement the same version of Oracle's Release 12 Enterprise Resourse Planning (ERP) software in a bid to cut costs and improve services.
With a combined population of 1.6 million, Lambeth, Lewisham, Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Croydon and Havering are the boroughs that are involved.
The deal forms part of Project Athena, which aims to lay the foundations for a single ICT platform for all London public sector organisations including all 32 London borough councils, by aligning all corporate IT systems.
The boroughs have signed a four-year deal with IT services company Capgemini to implement the ERP suite as part of its t-Gov (transform government) service offering.
It will aim to phase out older IT systems, secure economies of scale, eliminate unnecessary paperwork and streamline processes in areas such as finance, procurement, HR and payroll.
Mike Suarez, executive director for finance and resources for Lambeth Council, led the procurement, and said that it was necessary for councils to use the same system in order to save money without damaging the standard of services.
"All councils share common support functions – like HR, finance and procurement – but we have our own ways of doing them. If we can use the same system, we will streamline our processes and save money without cutting services.
"But this is also about improving how we do business with our suppliers and enable our staff to do things more quickly and efficiently. Managers will have access to budgets in real time and not need to complete endless paperwork for the simplest of tasks – making real savings for the taxpayer," he said.
The new systems are set to go live in July 2013 and will then be managed by Capgemini for an initial period of three years.
The IT services company said it also planned to induct a number of its new apprentices onto the project.
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