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Capita ordered to ‘fix’ Barnet Council supply issues UK News

Outsourcing firm Capita has been ordered to “fix” the flaws in the procurement process for Barnet Council.

Advisors raised concerns after a report pointed to “limited assurance” of compliance with rules designed to ensure that the board gets value for its money through its contracts.

Problems included “minimal” participation in staff training on procurement and “irregular” filling in of EOI forms.

The findings – one of which was classified as high risk and eight as medium risk – were presented in a report to the board’s audit committee on Wednesday.

Barnet Council purchases are partly subcontracted to Capita under the Customer and Support Group (CSG) contract.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Alison Moore (Labor, East Finchley) said one of the issues had been ongoing for “a number of years”.

She added: “While I am delighted to hear that Capita CSG is willing to work with the officers, I have to say that it has been a long way – and what worries me in particular is that this type of work should have been the core business. and buttery issues for Capita CSG, and we seem to constantly find process issues. ”

Ashley Hughes, deputy director of finance at Barnet Council, said he was “fairly confident” that an improvement plan that had been put in place with CSG procurement was “solid”. “I intend to make sure that everything in it is integrated, in the future,” he added.

Cllr Arjun Mittra (Labor, East Finchley) raised concerns about the low participation in the training and the inability of CSG officers to remember attending the in-person training, as noted in the report by audit.

Cllr Mittra said staff turnover at Capita was a constant problem and the people replacing those who were leaving did not appear to receive the same training. He asked if HR records were kept up to date and could indicate where staff had not received the appropriate training.

Keith Hinchcliffe, Purchasing Manager at Capita, said: “We try to provide continuous improvement, on-the-job training and to respond to any specific training requests from members of the Barnet team.”

Cllr Mittra asked who was proactively checking that people had the necessary training.

Anisa Darr, the board’s finance director, said it was the responsibility of managers to verify that staff had received training, which would be “clearly articulated” in the improvement plan.

Cllr Laithe Jajeh (Conservative, Hale) warned that Barnet was “in pain, potentially” because while the problems were spotted there was a “missing link somewhere” in terms of implementing plans to address them.

Mr Hinchcliffe wanted to reassure the committee that the problems identified in the report were being resolved.

But Cllr Jajeh said, “There are significant issues identified by internal audit and hearing that processes have been put in place – I hear that every time. Stop it. It’s embarassing. Sort it out, basically.

The finance committee recently approved a review of the multi-million pound agreements between Barnet Council and Capita to determine which services should be extended, re-procured or transferred in-house at the end of the initial contract term in 2023.

READ MORE: Review of Capita contracts agreed by Barnet advisers

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This notice was published: 2021-04-29 12:30:17