Wednesday, 2 July 2014

How Barnet does business with Capita - what happens when things go wrong?

Barnet Council kindly forwarded this document to me regarding the Capita Outsourcing project known as One Barnet. I was rather shocked to find that having outsourced this huge contract to Capita, the Council are happy to simply rely on Capita auditors to ensure it is being run correctly

This is what Section 2.2 says
2.2. LBB Risk-based Audit Programme
Capita has its own Internal Audit function and therefore LBB does not anticipate undertaking a risk-based audit programme involving Capita staff unless:
 Capita do not undertake internal audit reviews that provide assurance over Transferred Services (see Appendix B), specifically the Barnet business-arm and therefore LBB transactions;
 An audit is planned that has a scope involving both LBB and Capita employees;
 LBB has concerns in respect of the Transferred services; or
 LBB is unable to rely on the audits and work completed by Capita’s internal auditors.

This strikes me as a rather risky strategy, how will the council know if things are going wrong until theya re so bad that there is a scandal?

Also rather 'Interesting' is the statement that it is Capita's responsibility to 'promote' Whistleblowing policies in relation to the London Borough of Barnet. This strikes me as risky. Surely the Council should be seeking to ensure that Whistleblowers know the process and are assurred of support

It is agreed within this protocol that Capita staff should utilise the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy (under 2.3 or 4.1 of the policy) in relation to reporting a matter in accordance with the policy relating to a CSG or Re service. However it is also acknowledged that Capita staff may also choose to report such matters under their equivalent Capita ‘Speak up’ Policy. Any referrals received under the relevant LBB or Capita policy will be notified to the relevant parties in accordance with the agreed notification timescales detailed within table 2. It is agreed that it is Capita’s responsibility to actively promote and raise awareness of this within Capita in accordance with principles of openness and transparency and joint commitment to protect public funds.
So the question I want answered is this. If Capita are responsible for auditing themselves and managing whistle blowing, when do the people who set up this contract expect the Council to find out about things if they are going wrong? The answer is quite clearly, when they have gone wrong and Barnet residents have suffered bad service, financial loss or both. Would you agree to a contravt like this if you were a Councillor?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It Seems to Be the New Style of Management pay yourself a Fortune ! Appoint Consultants ! Get contractors to Do the work wether they are Good or Bad ! No Matter ! It's only public money ! Why Do we still Have a CE ! Why Do we Have All the Directors ? Do we Really Have to Pay a CE £250.000pa for someone who hasn't really got a Job ! We pay councillors to Represent us & they can't Even be Bothered to Read the contract ! In my Book that's called Misrepresentation !!!!