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BT publically shamed by Cornwall Council for multiple failures

Cornwall Council (opens in new tab)has publicly ticked off outsourcing supplier BT of failing to deliver promised commitments less than two years into a 10-year, £260 million arrangement.

The state of IT delivery has been “generally downward” since BT took over, according to a Computerworld UK report (opens in new tab)based on internal council documents.

That decline centres on IT incident resolution falling from 97 per cent to just 70 per cent from September 2014 to February of this year, according to the documents, with a related "much reduced" sense of ICT user satisfaction, it's being claimed.

The vendor signed a controversial 10-year, £260 million deal to run IT, telecare, human resources, document management and other services with the body and local healthcare bodies in October 2013.

There was so much ill-will over the deal tha then-council leader departed in a vote of no confidence after lengthy internal wrangling.

The story as published in the UK version of the global IT news site states that BT has delivered just a third of the promised jobs since the contract started and service transformation "has not reached anything like the intended levels" - with a mere 38 per cent of targets delivered, the report said.

While it has achieved promised savings, BT has met just 64 per cent of the council’s KPIs for the contract, it added, while an upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 overseen by BT was “substantially delayed” after implementation problems, the authority revealed.

The upgrade has largely finished “but the failure to upgrade the network is leading to capacity and performance issues," it added, while there is a claim that the public sector body “might be paying twice for replacement assets” due to the lack of an asset refresh policy.

On the positive side, Cornwall is saying senior BT staff fully appreciate the “serious concerns” raised and “are putting significant effort into turning things around”, adding that progress will be closely monitored, with the firm committing to parachute in a new senior management team to try to turn around the situation.

Cabinet member councillor Andrew Wallis described the review as “damning”. “BTC [BT Cornwall] have had two years to deliver this contract and have failed,” he said.

Wallis warned that if BTC do not deliver their commitments by summer “I am afraid we must be in the area of looking to terminate the contract. I feel if this was a full private sector deal, the contract most likely have already been torn-up.”

A BT spokesman told the paper that, “We are working closely with our partners on this project to ensure we deliver on all aspects of the contract."