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May 16, 2014

All 33 London boroughs migrate to government’s Public Services Network

How shared services could save hundreds of millions of public sector pounds.

By Joe Curtis

London has become the first UK region to connect all 33 of its local councils to the government’s Public Services Network (PSN), expected to save the public sector hundreds of millions of pounds by sharing services.

The LondonPSN is set to act as one single network to allow local authorities to share digitised public services, and is powered by Virgin Media Business, after it won a tender back in 2011, and is also one of 29 IT suppliers to the PSN.

London Grid, owned by the 33 councils in the capital, is responsible for co-ordinating the project to slash broadband and other digital service costs for local authorities and schools.

PSN will provide the authorities with access to the Department of Work and Pensions, the Government Secure Intranet service and the Department of Health N3 service after the councils began transitioning to the network last year.

Camden Council’s CIO, John Jackson, said: "It’s been fantastic to see the momentum this project has gained since we kicked off last year. I am particularly excited by the potential for savings which a shared service of this magnitude could bring."

He added that LondonPSN could save a billion pounds by 2024.

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"Experience to date indicates a cost reduction of between 25 and 75% is deliverable for products and services delivered in this way which, depending on how we develop London PSN as a shared service, could top a billion pounds over the next decade," he said.

The PSN is due to contribute to up to £500m worth of savings through digital services over the course of 2014, according to Cabinet Office targets set in January, and further work is being done to encourage data and service sharing among councils.

Mario Di Mascio, executive sales director at Virgin Media Business, said: "Creating one single network for London councils is a huge step in the right direction towards a truly connected capital.

"Bringing these boroughs together is not only bringing huge cost savings, but is ensuring that for the first time Londoners can benefit from a completely connected city and its streamlined services."

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