Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Barnet Future Shape Pledge Card

5 comments:

do call me dave said...

What a load of crap!

Rog T said...

do call me dave,

I couldn't agree more, I can't understand why Barnet didn't throw these proposals straight in the bin !

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Rog

I have not read the report in as much detail as you, but there is a nagging suspicion that “pledge 5” is what is driving these proposals.

I have no ideological opposition to some services of the council being outsourced or privatised provided that there is absolutely no loss of quality or accountability. If the council can deliver better services at a lower cost to taxpayers, then the people responsible for bringing about these changes would be entitled to a bonus - that’s what happens in the free market. But these improvements must be genuine and verifiable.

The state sector is bloated and generally inefficient, so there is massive scope for financial savings. But not all services will work better under private control.

The Post Office is a prime example of how some organisations run better under state control and the Conservative Party is opposed to Labour’s plans for effective privatisation. The same principle applies to some council services. The skill will be to determine which should stay under council control and which would be ‘outsourced’. That is why we need an open and honest debate about this, a slow step-by-step approach and contracts that can be ripped up without penalty to the taxpayer if things go wrong.

If efficiency savings are not returned to the people who ultimately pay the bill, then it is hard to see the point of these changes.

Rog T said...

Don't call me dave

The report is pure waffle. If there were case studies, examples of inefficiency, descriptions of process improvements, then I'd take a different view.

What we've got is probably the most badly written, woolly and potentially damaging document I've ever seen.

I am going to be doing a piece on good outsourcing later. The basis for any management change is a) define the problem in easily understandable terms. b) define the solution in easily undertandable terms c) show the benefits in easily understandable terms.

This document fails on all three fronts.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Rog

I would be interested to know if British Telecom will be one of the council’s partners for outsourcing. I have been trying to understand why BT - a private company - would go to the time, trouble and expense of organising the Vital Vision conference in Boston and Los Angeles, which Boland and Freer attended.

Are they hoping to get contracts from the council? Why would a private company spend their money in this way if not in the expectation of future business?

I think we should be told!