Tablet devices for every pupil, from primary six through secondary, and WiFi in every classroom are among pledges contained in a new ICT contract which is being put to Glasgow City Council’s executive committee for approval on Thursday (20 April). Improved health and care outcomes, increasing the employment of young people in software development and reducing the city’s digital divide are also included in its aims.
The Proposals for the Future Delivery of Digital and ICT Services report being considered by the committee, which is meeting for the last time before the local council elections next month, recommends that the £339m contract is awarded to CGI. The global business services provider has previously won contracts worth £32m with Borders Council and £182m with Edinburgh City.
The firm has a digital centre in Glasgow employing 140 people delivering open source software to clients across European public and commercial sectors, and it sponsors a computing degree programme at Glasgow Caledonian University. Under the contract, CGI would commit to ensure local SMEs receive business worth at least 25% of the council’s ICT expenditure by 2021. It would also sponsor 100 long term unemployed people through accredited software development training each year.
The council aims to:
- Support vulnerable people to live independently by deploying assistive technology;
- Improve the council’s and partners’ success in early intervention by providing data analytics for health and social care;
- Provide all council schools with one of the best network infrastructures in Scotland and allow all learners to use their own devices;
- Explore how Glasgow can use technology to transform learning by creating two continually evolving “classrooms of the future”;
- Meet residents’ expectations whilst reducing costs by ensuring the majority of council transactions are automated and available on-line;
- Reduce the city’s digital divide by providing devices to digitally deprived communities or charities;
- Provide libraries with excellent network and Wi-Fi infrastructure;
- Ensure business incubator offices have world class network and Wi-Fi infrastructure.
“Glasgow stands on the threshold of an IT revolution,” said council leader Frank Macaveety last week. “The new IT proposals will transform digital learning in every school in Glasgow, with tablets for all senior pupils and WiFi access in every classroom in the city. But the new technology will also guarantee 100 high tech apprenticeships every year. It will also break down the digital divide across every community in the city and break new ground for social care services and businesses in Glasgow.”
If approved, the deal will begin when the council’s current 10-year joint venture private partnership with Serco Group and Access ends on 31 March next year. Under the terms of the new contract the jobs, pensions and pay and conditions of the current workforce would be guaranteed for the next seven years.