The three-year deal will see all queries from the public routed to a centralised Customer Contact Centre. Northgate claims the move will allow enquiries to be dealt with more expeditiously and will give council departments more time to concentrate on improving service delivery.
The deal runs until November 2012 and Northgate has projected £1.5m in cashable savings will be delivered over the life of the contract. The VAR will only get paid when financial savings and other improvement targets have been met.
Joe Bradley, managing director of citizen services at Northgate Public Services, claimed the contract's structure offered the council a safer way of investing in technological improvements.
"It is essential that local councils enhance communications and engage effectively throughout their communities, reaching out to the most vulnerable people in these times of economic hardship," he said. "Our partnerships offer councils an innovative way of working at low risk and investing in improvement. "
Terry Hayward, head of community and customer services at Ipswich Borough Council, added: "For the first time, local people will be able to raise questions and resolve their concerns through a single point of contact with council staff. As a result, the Customer Contact Centre is certain to have a positive impact on improving the quality of life among our communities."
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