Hope on horizon for 18 council computer staff

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Scottish Borders Council has declined to confirm that it has downscaled controversial plans to outsource its 80-strong IT department to a private company.

It is understood that 18 members of that workforce, mostly employed as systems administrators, will remain “in-house” and that the transfer of the others, if agreed by councillors later this month, will not take place until September.

It is nearly a year since a report commissioned by SBC deemed the department unfit for purpose and recommended it should be outsourced by October last year.

The report caused consternation among SBC staff and their union representatives, not least because it was carried out by the City of Edinburgh Council which, at the time, was looking to replace BT as its IT provider.

A union source said: “As a result of our negotiations with SBC and the concerns of staff, it has been agreed that 18 members of the IT department should not be part of the transfer and should remain in-house and that the outsourcing of the service for the remainder has been put back to September.”

Asked to comment, a spokesperson for SBC told us: “A report will be taken to a full council meeting shortly regarding the IT review when a decision will be sought regarding the future of the council’s IT provision.”