Buckinghamshire Council is upgrading its revenue and benefits systems

Buckinghamshire Council is preparing to move to a more efficient single system for all revenues and benefits functions, which includes council tax, business rates and benefits. This will complete the merge of the Chiltern and South Bucks systems with the already merged Aylesbury and Wycombe system – creating one new unified system serving the whole of Buckinghamshire.

The new and improved system will deliver many benefits to both residents and the council. These benefits include:

  • Improved customer self-service functions and real-time notifications of their transactions
  • Reduction in administration and an increase efficiency allowing council staff more time to spend on customers with priority and complex needs
  • A reduction in printing and postage costs
  • Increasing the council’s ability to improve collection rates which can be used to pay for essential services
  • New system makes it easier to check claims are correct and to clamp down on fraud

The merging of the systems is a huge undertaking and will require an 11-week closedown of the Chiltern and South Bucks systems and a 5-week closedown (running concurrently) of the Aylesbury and Wycombe system.

During this process, over 20 million items will be migrated, and 1.5 million resident accounts will be converted.

Tim Butcher, Deputy Cabinet Member for Accessible Housing and Resources, said:

“We realise that the temporary system closure may cause some inconvenience, but the vast majority of residents and businesses in Buckinghamshire will not be impacted. Payments and Direct Debits will continue as normal.

“Critically, support and help will remain available for anyone experiencing significant financial hardship and all requests will be dealt with as a matter of urgency. In addition, our online forms will remain live, and our Customer Support team can still be contacted.

“Residents and businesses will still be able to notify us of changes to their existing circumstances. However, our Revenues and Benefits team won’t be able to action these requests until the new system is implemented at the end of October.

“Once the system goes live, customers will have more self-service options available, plus our support teams will have extra time to spend helping customers with priority and complex needs.”

The temporary system shutdown is due to start on Monday 15 August for Chiltern and South Bucks systems, and Thursday 22 September for the Aylesbury and Wycombe system.

The target date to have the new system up and running is Thursday 27 October.

The majority of residents will be unaffected by this closedown period – council tax direct debit and standing order collections, housing benefit payments and all online payments will continue as normal.

For help or assistance, residents can contact the council online:

Council Tax

Housing and benefits

Or by telephone: 0300 1316000

Residents are encouraged to check Buckinghamshire Council’s website for updates on the status of the service.