Telecom Capita, the local government computer specialists formed by the Capita consultancy group and backed to the tune of UKP4m by British Telecommunications Plc, has launched the first of its services. Eight local authorities in London and the South East have subscribed to Telecom Capita’s Computer Standby disaster recovery service, and the first centre has been set up at a British Telecom site in North London. Telecom Capita’s managing director John Jasper, former chief executive of Warwickshire Computing Ltd, says the standby site is the first of its kind dedicated to local authorities in the UK. There are three ICL systems available at the centre: a 2966 offering VME,VME/B, CME (George 2 and 3) and DME; a Series 39 Model 35 supporting VME, VME/B and CME; and a 39/50 supporting VME and VME/B. Formed last month, Telecom Capita is based at Capita’s computer centre in Birmingham. Capita itself was established in March 1987 as a result of a management buyout at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Cipfa, and saw pre-tax profit of UKP404,000, on turnover of UKP1.9m for the year to December 1987. In addition to its disaster recovery service Telecom Capita will also offer a range of poll-tax services, as well as facilities management and departmental computer solutions. The poll-tax solutions include an information exchange service aimed at helping councils keep track of residents movements moving from one council area to another. The system is based on Telecom Gold and subscribers will be able to pass on and receive information on community charge-payers leaving or moving into their areas. Those who leave no forwarding address, or arrive in an area where there previous address is unknown, will be logged onto a central system through which subscribers can make enquiries. Running on British Telecom’s billing system at Hemel Hampstead, the Income Management service will manage authorities’ billing and calculation needs on a contractual basis. Telecom Capita will print and mail demands, record payments, issue reminders, and produce reports for council officers. British Telecom is not strong in the local government market, and it would seem that it is prepared to sink a small amount of its profits into somebody else’s company as a means of gaining a foothold there before the Community Charge comes to be implemented in England and Wales in 1990.