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Barnet Council could outsource four other services to Capita UK News

Four other services that were contracted out to Capita could be brought back under the control of Barnet Council in two years.

A review of the council’s two main contracts with the company proposes to internalize highway, regeneration, supply and regulatory services when the initial ten-year agreements expire in 2023.

Six departments would remain with Capita, while four more would receive a short extension before a decision is made on their integration.

The contract review, which had been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, was presented to a meeting of the Financial Performance and Contracts Committee on Tuesday.

John Hooton, managing director of Barnet Council, told the meeting that the review was on “how we are getting the best possible service for residents,” admitting there had been “delivery challenges” with services that could be outsourced.

He added: “I think for all these services, the people and the services are provided by Barnet, and I think there is an opportunity to improve the quality of the service in the future and to provide these. services for at least the same cost or less by integrating them into the municipality.

But opposition advisers have expressed doubts about the scope and effectiveness of the review. Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg (Liberal Democrat, Garden Suburb) suggested the board could have gone further and offered to bring other parts of the contracts in-house, like customer service.

Cllr Rozenberg said the long-term trend for contracts has been “a constant admission that this track doesn’t make sense, and this track doesn’t make sense, and this track isn’t commercially viable.”

Barnet Council brought strategic finance and human resources in-house in 2019, while pension management moved from Capita to the West Yorkshire Pension Fund last year.

“I really wonder what will be left of it, after the end of the ten-year process, in 2023,” he added.

Cllr Arjun Mittra (Labor, East Finchley) said he felt the review was “a bit of a reward for Capita”, with services that had been “angry” or where the company was making a loss being returned to the board .

“The mistakes that were made eight years ago… I think they are being made again,” he told the committee.

Mr Hooton said internalization has been the trend in recent years in some cases. He said the board had “completely changed the business model” of customer service, but admitted it had to do things differently.

The chief executive said he didn’t think the review was a “reward for Capita” because the company “would make less money with a smaller set of contracts.”

Union leader Cllr Barry Rawlings (Coppetts) has raised concerns that Capita will still have ownership of key data and information after the proposed contract overhaul. “I am just not sure that the levers of power are in our hands at the moment and that we will have them,” he said.

Cllr Rawlings suggested there should have been a “wider discussion” on the alternatives. He said the regional business deal with Capita could move from a joint vehicle to a publicly traded company – meaning the board would get 100% of all profits, rather than 51% going to Capita shareholders. .

Labor advisers voted against the proposed approach to public consultation and direction of travel for each department, but they were supported by conservative members of the committee.

The board will initiate consultations with the public and staff before making decisions on the proposals set out in the review.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-09 13:29:19

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