Media Release: BT wins national benchmark for city council partnership

Double first as ICT company raises the bar in partnering excellence

BT has been awarded certification to a new British Standard in recognition of its Smart City partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council.

To achieve this BT has successfully demonstrated it meets best practice in terms of Collaborative Business Relationships following rigorous assessment of its 11-year ICT partnership with the Scottish local authority.

It is the first ICT company to gain the BS 11000 certification – and it’s also the first time the new standard has been awarded to a local authority partnership.

In making the award, BSI (the British Standards Institution) highlighted the additional value created by the partnership, not just in identifying further opportunities that benefited both parties, but in getting involved in local community projects and even the Council’s staff awards.

The assessment looked at evidence from across all aspects of the partnership, from vision and values to working together, knowledge and skills, policies and people and commitment to continuous approval.

Andrew Unsworth, head of e-government at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Working with the right partner is essential for the City of Edinburgh Council to ensure we are delivering the best possible services.

“This certification reflects how far the partnership with BT has come in the last 10 years. It confirms the quality of our people and practices and demonstrates the added value that collaborative working brings.”

The £multi-million partnership began in 2001 when BT became the Council’s strategic partner and supplier of ICT services, with a remit to make council services more accessible to the residents of Edinburgh. In 2008 the contract, initially for ten years, was extended for a further five years until 2016.

Ailsa Chandler, BT’s Edinburgh-based director for the partnership, said: “BT has a long and successful history in collaborative working, with the City of Edinburgh Council in the last decade, and many other councils throughout the UK. Both parties were keen that our Edinburgh partnership should be measured against the new standard to become certified to BS 11000.

“Achieving the standard is a clear demonstration that BT is determined to work with local authorities to help them address the challenges they are facing with firm foundations, sound governance and innovation.

“In addition to this recognition of our partnership approach in Edinburgh, we can now formally demonstrate to other potential local government partners our commitment to meeting and surpassing the highest standards.”

The BS 11000 certificate will be presented to Chris Sayers, strategic director of the Smart City partnership, BT Global Services, at a partnership conference in London on October 18.

Notes to editors

Smart City Partnership

The BT/City of Edinburgh Council Partnership Programme came into being in 2001, when BT signed a ten-year strategic ICT partnership agreement with the Council. Under the contract, BT agreed to deliver large-scale business transformation projects and to provide the Council’s information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and services.

Since then, BT has delivered a portfolio of projects that are making a real difference to the lives of council employees and local people. In early 2008 the Council confirmed a five year contract extension to 2016, which will provide significant efficiency savings.

BS 11000

BS 11000 is a new British Standard for organisations that can demonstrate commitment to, and capabilities in, developing collaborative business relationships and partnership working. It is the first National Standard in the world to address collaborative business relationships. Launched in October 2010, it provides a basis for benchmarking the collaborative capability of organisations through BSI independent assessment. It provides a standard framework to promote better engagement and effectiveness through strengthened business processes, whilst improving risk management, enhancing dispute resolution and providing a basis for skills development. Most importantly it improves the potential for sustainable relationships that deliver value.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by BT Scotland. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka Press or media releases), on Email for more information.

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