IT staff at Swansea Council have been transferred to Capgemini as part of a controversial £83m e-government outsourcing project designed to modernise the way the council provides its public services.
As part of the first phase, Capgemini intends to overhaul the council's existing IT systems and working practices as part of an "integrated programme of business process re-engineering and technology transformation".
This will be followed up with a new call centre and access to local authority services via the net.
As part of the deal about 60 of Swansea Council's IT staff have been transferred to Capgemini armed with promises that their employment conditions and pension rights will be protected.
The council's plans to outsource its IT systems as part of its service@swansea e-government scheme was the subject of a bitter eight-week strike in 2004.
Workers wanted to ensure their employment and pension rights would not be affected by the deal. Despite ongoing negotiations, tensions between the two sides continued, with some workers still concerned that the promises made by the council could not be guaranteed.
Last month, the UK Government reported that local councils in the UK have moved to a "24/7 culture" after making almost all of their services "e-enabled".
"Residents can now access services and information at any time - even on Christmas Day! - as councils have now moved to a twenty-four-seven culture," said the UK Government in a statement. ®