The Joint Venture One Barnet saga continues
I am genuinely trying to understand what is going on. In response to what you have said is it your understanding that the council is asking the Bidders to submit two different solutions one for a JV and one for a straight contract?
Finally for the sake of transparency can you ensure that senior officers provide UNISON with a copy of the procedure and the basis on which officers will evaluate bids in order to make a final recommendation to members? All of this will have been predetermined and made clear in the contract documentation and should not be a matter of commercial confidentiality.
As I’m quoted in this I feel compelled to respond.
The position is quite clear.
The outcome of the competitive dialogue has not been presented to members therefore no formal recommendation has yet been made to us – that will happen in due course.
Officers, in an effort to keep staff and members updated, have confirmed that the dialogue is pursuing a joint venture option and at this stage that is the officers’ preferred option. As you know, officers advise, members decide.
The Leader has stated he remains to be convinced about a JV and rightly so given that members have not yet seen a proposal.
This does not contradict my quote in the paper that I would not be surprised if a joint venture was the final outcome – it is one of only a few options when engaging the private sector to run services! I did not say a JV is definitely on the cards (although the paper in its commentary tried to imply that).
Cllr Daniel Thomas
Finchley Church End Ward
Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance
London Borough of Barnet
From: John Burgess
To: Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative
Cc: Laura Butterfield ; Ioannidis, Cllr Andreas Labour; Brodkin, Cllr Alex Labour; Campbell, Cllr Anita Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Alison Conservative; Finn, Cllr Anthony Conservative; Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Hutton, Cllr Anne Labour; Moore, Cllr Alison Labour; Schneiderman, Cllr Alan Labour; Slocombe, Cllr Agnes Labour; Sodha, Cllr Ansuya Labour; Strongolou, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Andreas Conservative; Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative; Evangeli, Cllr Barry Conservative; Gordon, Cllr Brian Conservative; Perry, Cllr Bridget Conservative; Rawlings, Cllr Barry Labour; Salinger, Cllr Brian Conservative; Schama, Cllr Brian Conservative; Farrier Cllr Claire Labour; OMacauley, Cllr Charlie Labour; Rogers, Cllr Colin Labour; Salinger, Cllr Catherine Conservative; Longstaff, Cllr David Conservative; Seal, Cllr Daniel Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Yawitch, Cllr Darrel Conservative; Greenspan, Cllr Eva Conservative; Cooke, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Johnson, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Old, Cllr Graham Conservative; Sargeant, Cllr Gill Labour; Hart Cllr Helena Conservative; Rayner, Cllr Hugh Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Jack Liberal Democrat; Hart, Cllr John Conservative; Johnson, Cllr Julie Labour; Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Scannell, Cllr Joan Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Joanna Conservative; Tierney, Cllr Jim Labour; McGuirk, Cllr Kathy Labour; Rutter, Cllr Lisa Conservative; Braun, Cllr Maureen Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Melvin Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Monroe Liberal Democrat; Shooter, Cllr Mark Conservative; Coakley Webb, Cllr Pauline Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Houston, Ross Cllr Labour; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative; Thompstone, Cllr Reuben Conservative; Turner, Cllr Rowan Conservative; Khatri, Cllr Sury Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Susette Liberal Democrat; Rajput, Cllr Sachin Conservative; Sowerby, Cllr Stephen Conservative; Davey, Cllr Tom Conservative; Prentice, Cllr Wendy Conservative; Zubairi, Cllr Zakia Labour; Mittra, Cllr Arjun Labour
Sent: Fri Sep 21 11:39:33 2012
Subject: Is the Council recommending a Joint Venture or a Strategic Partnership for DRS ?
As you know I attended the Special Meeting, Budget and Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee where I listened in amazement to the discussion as to whether a JV had been recommended. I could not believe what I hearing when the Chair asked if any of the councillors had seen the emails and no one admitted they had.
I am enclosing the emails attachments.
For some reason the councillors at the Special Meeting, Budget and Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee seem unaware of a series of events which has brought the issue of a Joint Venture to the attention of councillors, staff and residents. For the sake of transparency and equally important scrutiny I want to refer you back to August 2012 where a number of communications were issued:
1. “As a result we have decided to form a Joint Venture organisation with the successful bidder, which provides an effective basis on which the Council can benefit from these opportunities and at the same time it gives the Council greater rights of transparency and control.”
(Email communication sent to all staff in DRS 17 August 2012)
2. Barnet Press: “However, Daniel Thomas, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, said that a joint venture had always been an option for the officers and would give the council more control over the DRS.
He pointed out that Barnet would be the first council to outsource its regulatory services and officers needed to be cautious. “We are talking about creating a new model for outsourcing,” he said.
“It doesn’t surprise me that the first vendor for this service would be a shared organisation. It gives the council more control.”
(Barnet Press 23 August 2012 http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=29165&searchword=thomas)
3. “DRS Joint Venture proposal – Staff Update
Following my DRS fortnightly email last week I have set out further details on the joint venture below:-
What is the decision making process around the joint venture?
The joint venture has been an option considered by the project Board over the last 2 years and has featured in the options appraisal and business case. Although initially our preference was for a Strategic Partnership, the JV has developed as a progressively more attractive option following detailed discussions with bidders. As a result the project Board recommended to Corporate Directors Group that this be formally advanced in discussions with bidders and indeed is currently our preferred option.
(Email communication sent to all DRS staff 24 August 2012)
4. On 23 August, I attended a meeting with the DRS senior management. I specifically asked if the reports were true about the recommendation for a Joint Venture option. I was very clearly told the Council was recommending a Joint Venture model for service delivery.
At the Budget Overview & Scrutiny Committee 19 September 2012, Agenda Item 8 it was made very clear to all councillors that there was no recommendation for a Joint Venture. I was there and have reviewed the video footage very carefully, which is available to view here http://youtu.be/JZRJIIwjfd0
I left that meeting absolutely clear the Joint Venture issue was not being recommended and so informed my members of this decision.
Yesterday (20 September 2012) your staff were being informed by senior officers that the JV option is still on. Furthermore the IMPOWER consultant confirmed that the Bidders have been told that their detailed solution must include a JV approach.
I now have no idea as to who or what to believe. I would welcome confirmation as to what option is being recommended to the Bidders.