Liverpool City Council has doubled the life if its IT services management contract with BT.

The £325-million deal extends a joint venture, Liverpool Direct Ltd. (LDL), for a further five years to 2017, increasesing the lifetime value of the contract to more than £800m. Under the new agreement, BT will continue to invest in technology and new ways of working to deliver additional benefits across a broader scope of council services.

Since 2001, BT said it had invested £53m in new technology to improve and modernise council services. The investment and expertise has helped Liverpool transform the poorly performing Local Authority, which at the time had outdated working practices and computer systems.

Councillor Richard Marbrow, Liverpool City Council’s executive member for central services, said: “LDL has achieved a great deal in a very short space of time, and we’re now really beginning to provide the people of Liverpool with the services they deserve. This new deal will allow us to continue investing in new technology and improving services for the foreseeable future.”

Some of the key achievements that have paved the way to this contract extension include reduced housing benefit claim process times from 143 days to 28 days and improved Business Rate collection from 93% to 99% generating an additional £45m for the council and collecting £70 million of debt owing to LCC.

The development of a new ICT infrastructure based around a new data centre with a duplicated backup site providing service redundancy, as well as streamlining HR procedures through the implementation of a Service Desk and Intranet to make access to information easier for managers and staff.

LDL already has business contracts with educational organisations in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, which support employment in Liverpool, which it said it would now aim to grow further.