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Essex County Council says it will save millions once its major new computer systems come online.

Fujitsu has won a £16.6million contract to replace ageing IT systems in County Hall’s finance, payroll, procurement and HR departments.

The council is hoping the five-year deal will save millions of pounds by improving efficiency.

The savings will then be channeled into frontline services.

Derrick Louis, councillor responsible for corporate services, said: “This is the culmination of two years hard work to replace more than 30 old and disjointed IT systems.

“These new, highly-efficient, systems, which we aim to have running within the next financial year, will remove frustrating and unnecessary administration, duplication and repetition.

Not only will there be significant savings, but this investment shows our commitment to making lasting changes to the way we deliver services.

“For example, it will soon be much easier for companies to do business with us as we streamline our online financial processes.”

The project is part of the council’s drive to save £235million over the next three years to cope with Government cuts.

The council says the new systems will also help it make better decisions because it will provide up-to-date and accurate information helping to identify trends, act on forecasts and gather evidence to improve services.

Sandy Vann, of Fujitsu’s Business and Application Services, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have the opportunity to work with Essex, supporting it into and through the next phase of their transformation.”