Thursday, 29 August 2013

Open Letter to the Leader of Barnet Council regarding misuse of DPR process for £16.1 transfer of assets to Capita

The following text is an open letter sent this morning the the Leader of Barnet Council outlining my objection to the use of the Delegated Powers Report process to circumvent democratic oversight of the One Barnet project.


----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Tichborne
Cc: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Travers, Andrew
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 11:13 AM
Subject: Open Letter to the Leader of the Council - Objection to the misuse of the DPR mechanism to approve One Barnet transfer

Dear Councillor Cornelius,
I was appalled to find a DPR signed by yourself, authorising an investment of £16.1 million with Capita, to underwrite the NSCSO project, signed on the 5th August. The text of the DPR makes it clear that this DPR was necessary as a result of the the failure of your administration to properly consider the issues associated with the One Barnet project and the work necessary to implement it. It is simply unimaginable that an organisation such as Barnet Council can forget, for a period of eight months, to properly account for £16.1 million worth of assets in a major transformation project (I refer to this DPR ).
The Delegated Power Report mechanism was introduced to ensure the smooth running of the council to implement minor, non contentious issues. It was not devised as a means for the administration to hide major cock ups or to transfer huge sums of money to private contractors. All along the official line taken by Barnet Council is that the One Barnet project has been properly scrutinised and the army of highly payed lawyers have ensured all paperwork is watertight. To find out that this supposedly professionally run project has failed to properly account for a £16.1 million transfer of assets is shocking to say the least.
The question one has to ask is that if the council can overlook the need to properly account for and sign off the transfer of £16.1 million worth of assets, what else has been missed? Perhaps the most shocking revelation in this sorry piece of underhand chicanery is the revelation in the event of the failure of Capita to deliver the required services to the appropriate standard, the mitigation is for the council to carry on using the Capita service. This is made entirely clear from the risks register section. This is the text contained. As the signatory of this report, are you seriously trying to convince us that continuing to use a failed supplier is a mitigation?
3.2 There is a risk that, on termination, the Council has invested in assets, particularly in respect of IT, that, given they are located in shared services locations offsite from Barnet, the Council cannot continue to use in the future. This risk is mitigated by obligations on the contractor to provide licences for the continued use of these applications following termination of the agreement
I am not in the least surprised to see that such a DPR was snuck through at the height of the holiday season, when the council officers would assume no one is looking. I am however most surprised that you would participate in this ruse bysigning it.
This issue clearly needs to be discussed at full council I have copied the councillors of Barnet into this correspondence in the hope that some of your colleagues are as troubled by this as I am. As I am sure you are well aware, I have had fundamental issues all along with the One Barnet process. This failure and the exposition of the risks and mitigations has simply confirmed my belief that this officer lead initiative is fundamentally undemocratic and dangerous.
Please not my full objections have been voiced in this blog -
Yours sincerely
Roger Tichborne

PS Please note that as I believe this to be a matter of public interest, I have copied Barnet CEO, Press, Barnet Bloggers and trades Unions into this correspondence.  I have also published this correspondence on my blog.

1 comment:

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