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April 20, 2015

London Councils share budgeting software in bid to save £10m annually

Havering and Newham Councils' are part of One Oracle Project to share an IT platform.

By James Nunns

Havering and Newham Councils are launching a pilot project to share the same budgeting and forecasting solution from Advanced Business Solutions.

The two have joined under a Joint Committee arrangement to form, oneSource, which is designed to deliver back office services. It is hoped that this will save more than £10 million annually over the next three to five years.

Havering implemented Collaborative Planning in 2011, which helped to eliminate some of the complexities around using multiple Excel spreadsheets and led to capital and revenue budgets being controlled in a transparent environment.

Owen Sparks, Operations Manager for Havering Council with responsibility for business partnering at Newham, said: "Collaborative Planning provides us with an easy way to manage our budgets online in a single place."

"The flexibility and effectiveness of the system gave us the confidence to recommend and roll-out the solution to Newham."

"As both councils share services it is important that our systems and processes are aligned to enable us to work together as smoothly as possible."

"System intuitiveness and ease of use are also essential to enable our budget holders to fully engage with the financial management process. The use of the system has led to improved budget holder responsibility and ownership."

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"We also have greater transparency of our finances, and with the continued squeeze on local authority resources, it remains crucial to have that knowledge easily and quickly accessible."

The two councils are part of the One Oracle Project, where local authorities are using Oracle ERP software and joining together to share an IT platform.

The aim of this is to share best practices and to reduce the costs required for hosting and upgrading.

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