Serco is set to lead the transformation of the UK Ministry of Defence's back-office functions, having been named as the preferred bidder for its Defence Business Services (DBS) management contract.

Announced by defence secretary Philip Hammond on 1 March, the proposed four-year deal will cover activities including streamlining the provision of civilian human resources, finance, information and security vetting services.

Worth an estimated £36 million ($57 million), the contract will "transform the [DBS] organisation into an efficient shared services centre which builds on private sector best practice," the MoD said.

Savings of around £71 million are expected to be made as a result of the programme, with all of Serco's earnings to be related to its performance in driving down costs and delivering efficiencies, the MoD said.

"Working with DBS staff, customers and suppliers, we will deliver significant improvements for the MoD by streamlining their back-office services, so they can focus their resources on the critical frontline for defence," said Andrew White, chief executive of Serco's UK defence, science and nuclear business.

Teamed with Accenture, the company defeated rival bids from IBM/Deloitte and KPMG/ CSC.

Source: Flight International