This week is “CAPITA WEEK” in the London Borough of Barnet. Following the decision of the cabinet of Barnet Council to award CAPITA a £750 million outsourcing contract, which will destroy 300 jobs in the Borough, the local blogs are spending a week investigating the record of Capita at other local authorites.
We are highlighting issues with outsourcing projects run by Capita, Barnet Councils chosen supplier for the One Barnet project. We are asking councillors to ensure that they are fully aware of all of the likely issues, before they put pen to paper with this massive contract.
The issue we investigate today is data security. Barnet Council has personal and financial details of every resident in the Borough. If these are compromised, every single resident could be at risk from fraudsters and criminals. How have Capita managed the data of existing public sector clients? Data security is the most important issue for service providers.
This article, in the highly respected publication Information age, details how Capita have been blamed for losing schools data. According to reports in the Guardian newspaper, Capita has lost irreplaceable school data after a botched software upgrade to Sims, the management system used in more than two-thirds of schools to keep staff and pupil records, finances and timetabling schedules. As a result of the corrupted records, some schools have been forced to move back to a paper-based records system until the problems are ironed out. Is this something we want to happen in Barnet?
Have Barnet Councillors satisfied themselves that no such breach of data integrity could occur in Barnet? Are they convinced that the outsourcing of data and loss of control of data security poses no risk to the residents? Unless Barnet Councillors are 100% convinced that such threats cannot occur, then they should cancel the One Barnet program and have a solution where they have responsibility for the security of residents and tax payers.
If you are worried, join the Barnet Alliance for Public Services , who are holding a demonstration against One Barnet at Capita HQ on Thursday 20th, 5-7pm, 71 Victoria Street