Birmingham City Council has come under criticism for outsourcing IT jobs to India.
The jobs in question are within Service Birmingham, the council’s joint venture with services giant Capita. So far, 17 jobs have moved to Capita’s Indian facilities, and a total of 100 are expected to go by the end of the year.
Public services union Unite has called on the council to cancel the plan, while a local politician has said that it "undermines the future of Birmingham" by draining it of technology talent.
Service Birmingham was launched in 2006 as part of a ten year, £500 million change programme designed to deliver over £1 billion worth of benefits. Around 500 employees were seconded to the joint venture.
However, the coalition government’s spending review demands that Birmingham City Council finds a further £300 million in savings on top of those benefits, half of which must be delivered this year.
The UK’s public sector has traditionally refrained from using offshore IT resources, but that appears to be changing in light of recent budget cuts. Last year, the UK’s Personal Accounts Delivery Authority signed a software development deal with Indian outsourcer TCS.
Serco, the UK’s other public sector services giants, this week acquired Indian business process outsourcing provider Intelenet, although it said the acquisition was designed to support its growing private sector business.