Lest we ever forget the million pound plus fraud committed by a Capita employee

Below is an extract from a report submitted to

Audit Committee 17 July 2018 


Corporate Anti-Fraud Team (CAFT) Annual Report 2018/19

(Source: https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s52410/Appendix%201%20CAFT%20Annual%20Report%201st%20April%202018%2031st%20March%202019.pdf )

2018-19 saw CAFT officers investigate and prosecute an unprecedented internal financial fraud. In Response to his officer resource was diverted from all sections within the team to deal with the investigation. The case was given the name Operation Rouble which subsequently proved to be the most challenging, complex and substantial fraud that Barnet has experienced.

  • The fraud related to two offences of ‘abuse of position’ which were committed by a Capital Investment Manager, employed by Capita and working for Regional Enterprise. The offender created instructions for CHAPS payments in excess of £2 million to be processed in relation to fictitious compulsory purchase orders.
  • The CAFT were notified in December 2017 and utilised their financial investigators powers to obtain tangible evidence which resulted in the offender being arrested and suspended within 24 hours of the investigation being initiated.
  • The criminal aspect of the investigation was evidenced and prepared for prosecution within five months which subsequently led to the successful conclusion of the case in July 2018 which saw the offender being sentenced at Harrow Crown Court to 5 years imprisonment.
  • CAFT has carried on the financial investigation and continues to do so in order to ensure all proceeds of crime are identified and recovered accordingly
  • CAFT has also worked closely with Internal Audit and Finance in relation to recommendation from the external review of financial controls and the ongoing audit testing relating to financial controls.
  • CAFT jointly conducting a payments data analytics exercise with Internal Audit in order to identify irregularities and/or make recommendations for improvement.

Further details of the investigation can be found in the noteworthy investigation section, and full details of the external review into financial control conducted by Grant Thornton is available on the council’s website Financial controls https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizen-home/council-and-democracy/finance-and-funding/Financial-controls.html


12 months later at Policy and Resources Committee 17 June 2019 Barnet Council decided to keep both Capita contracts largely untouched with a review sometime in the future. 

 

 

Don’t Sign The Survey: Don’t Give Up Your Rights at Work

Dear Member

I am writing to you because Barnet Council has issued a staff survey without any consultation with Barnet UNISON.

Why we are asking our members not to complete the survey.

Barnet UNISON believes that Street Scene workers should be treated equally with all other Council workers.

This survey has clearly been designed to undermine your Terms and Conditions.

If the Council wants to discuss any changes to your hours, your pay, your sick pay, your annual leave, your training, your health and safety then they should discuss this with your union.

Before signing anything you have the right to consult with your union.

If it is good enough for other Council workers it should be good enough for Street Scene workers.

For example here are some of the questions they are asking.

As a Barnet employee which of the following is the MOST important to you? (Tick one option)

☐ 30 days Annual Leave

☐ Paid Sick Leave

As a Barnet employee which of the following is the MOST important to you? (Tick one option)

☐ Training on Saturdays

☐ 30 days Annual Leave

As a Barnet employee which of the following is the MOST important to you? (Tick one option)

Training on Saturdays

☐ Paid Sick Leave

We have written to the Chief Executive asking for this survey to be pulled.

Best wishes
John Burgess

Branch Secretary

Barnet UNISON

Victims of the Outsourcing Nightmare

“I don’t know if I have the strength to apply for jobs again. I love my job. I love working here. I’m good at doing what I do. I’d made plans around this being a secure job.” 

These are sorts of things colleagues facing redundancy in Children’s Centres are saying, usually through a veil of tears.

Remember this photo?

North London Business Park, New Southgate.
Unison members go on strike over pay and conditions at Barnet Council.
Jeremy Corbin MP also made a visit to show his support.
08/07/15
Anne-Marie Sanderson.

It shows Coppetts Wood Childrens Centre workers on the picket line 2015 joining all members in the fight against outsourcing.

The last 3-4 weeks Barnet UNISON has seen one Children’s Centre worker after another in tears. They are being made redundant as Barnet Council cut its budget to school’s based Children’s Centres by £½ million. This has meant that Fairway, Coppetts Wood, Bell Lane and Barnfield Children’s Centres have around 1/3 sliced from their budget. 

Many of these colleagues have been working for Barnet between 10-20 years offering valuable support to vulnerable families and their young children.

But they have done more than this. They have given solidarity to the branch and our members. Coppetts Wood most recently joined our protest about the fire alarms in Barnet House. 

Children’s Centre Staff urgently need your solidarity and support – something they have so readily shared with us.

Please send the branch your thoughts for us to pass on to these workers and come to the Capita Enquiry.

Waste & Recycling Round restructure questions

Barnet UNISON has conducted our own consultation with members about the new round restructure.

We have asked senior management to respond to the questions raised by UNISON members working in Waste and Recycling below:

1. How many vehicles do we currently have available for the new round restructure?

2. How many refuse rounds will there be in the new round restructure and what is the staffing numbers?

3. How many recycling rounds will there be in the new round restructure and what is the staffing numbers?

4. How many Trade rounds will there be in the new round restructure and what is the staffing numbers?

5. How many green waste rounds will there be in the new round restructure and what is the staffing numbers?

6. Currently the Hazard vehicle round operates three days a week. Will it still be operating and what are the crew numbers?

7. Impact Vehicle (IPV) currently operates three days a week what is the plan for this service?

8. Will there still be a Bin delivery and if so what are the staffing numbers?

9. How many shunt vehicles will be available on a daily basis?

10. What rounds will be getting shunts?

11. What is the estimated down time for shunts?

12. How many spare vehicles do we have?

13. What are number of locations per round?

14. How many bins and size per location?

15. Please provide the mileage walked by loaders per round?

16. How will flat refuse be collected?

17. How will flat recycling be collected?

18. What are the days for each postal district?

19. How are the locations with more than one collection day be collected?

20. Will there be maps provided for each new round?

21. When will public be informed?

22. When will staff be consulted and be informed about their round?

23. What are the contingency plans in the event of failure to collect?

24. What is the plan for the ever growing number of new developments to be incorporated into the new round?

25. Will agency staff still be used?

26. What are the estimated travelling times for each round to and from depots to the prescribed five postal districts?

27. What are the estimated tipping times from each area to Hendon or Edmonton?

28. Will black sacks be used, if so who will deliver them?

29. Where access for large vehicles is prohibited how far are staff expected to pull bins from bin areas to vehicle?

30. Have risk assessment’s been done for each new round?

31. Have Round Descriptions been completed for each new round?

32. Will the Round Descriptions include the presence potential hazards and restrictions such as;

  • Parked Vehicles
  • Narrow Lanes
  • Steep Slopes
  • Pedestrian usage
  • Schools/Care Homes and other buildings that may present increase risk, hazards or restrictions Poor Lighting or Visibility

33. Will the Round Descriptions include the nearest locations of:

  • Public/Staff Accessible Toilets
  • Hospitals
  • Nearest refuelling point (in case of emergency)

34. Have the rounds been walked and tested?

35. What is current overall capacity in tonnage for each existing refuse round per day?

36. What is the overall capacity expected in tonnage for each new refuse round per day?

37. What is current overall capacity in tonnage for each existing flat refuse round per day?

38. What is the current overall capacity in tonnage for the existing food waste round per day?

39. What is the current overall capacity in tonnage for RATS/FLASH collection rounds per day?

40. What is the current overall tonnage for each existing recycling round per day?

41. What is the overall capacity expected tonnage for each new recycling round per day?

42. What is the current overall tonnage for the food waste collected by the recycling rounds per day?

44. What is current overall tonnage for all (mid-week and Saturday collection) flat recycling rounds?

45. What is the current overall tonnage for each existing refuse restricted access round per day?

46. What is the current overall tonnage for each existing recycling restricted access round per day?

47. Currently we have restricted access rounds. How will the new round collection service address restricted access to locations?

48. What is the current overall tonnage of the Saturday green waste rounds?

49. Will the crews be alternated between refuse and recycling each week?

 

Barnet UNISON branch meetings September 2018

Dear Barnet UNISON member

It is important that our members are fully briefed as possible about what is happening in Barnet Council. We have organised a series of 8 branch meetings  throughout the month of September in order to discuss and to take questions.

Here is the agenda for all of the meetings.

  1. Capita contracts
  2. Barnet Council Finances.
  3. Fire Safety.
  4. Move to Colindale.
  5. Sick Pay deductions in Barnet Council
  6. Any other business

Please find time to join one of the meetings to held on:

Wednesday 5 September 12noon Committee Room 2, Barnet House

Thursday 6 September 12.30pm Central Room, Building 4, NLBP

Wednesday 12 September 12.30pm Committee Room 1, Barnet House

Friday 14 September 1pm Central room, Building 4, NLBP

Thursday 20 September 12.30pm Room G2, Building 2, NLBP

Friday 21 September 12.30pm Committee room 1, Barnet House

Tuesday 25 September 1pm Central room, Building 4, NLBP

Thursday 27 September 12.30pm Committee room 2, Barnet House

 

 

 

National Pay impact on Barnet Council grades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above table shows the news grades following the National Agreement of Pay.

Barnet Council will be paying the National Pay Award in the Pay Slip at the end of June.

It should include your new basic pay rate and three months backdating to 1 April 2018.

For those staff who are no longer Council employers but who are entitled to the Pay Award here is the link to the London Agreement which has the spinal column points.

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-19-GLPC-Circular-Special-Salary-Arrangements-for-London-2018-2020.pdf

If you have any problems with your pay please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grenfell: “The fight for justice goes on.”

On Monday 14 May 2018, Barnet UNISON continued our pledge made at our AGM to send our banner in solidarity to each Grenfell Silent march which take place on the 14th of each month.

I have been on hundreds of marches but I’ve not attended a silent march before.

It is hard to explain just how powerful it is unless you are there.

Once it begins no one speaks, no mobile phones, the traffic stops, even the birds in the trees seem subdued. I could hear the wind in the trees, it was so quiet I could hear the Barnet UNISON banner poles squeaking.

Half way through the march there is a touching scene where residents shake the hands of the firefighters who are lined up in respect alongside of the march.

I spoke to a number of people and they do welcome the unions providing solidarity.

This collection of campaigns are having to fight tooth and nail for justice.

Whilst they have won a victory to have people on the panel alongside the Judge there is so much to fight for.

Today we heard news that the Government won’t ban combustible cladding.

That is impossible to comprehend after what has happened at #Grenfell.

History tells a story. We know, from #Hillsborough and #Orgreave just how long working class communities have to wait for justice.

#Orgreave are still waiting.

It’s important that trade unions do what trade unions have been doing for over a hundred years. We offer solidarity in whatever form is acceptable.

Barnet UNISON will continue to support #Grenfell residents in order they don’t have to wait 20 years for justice.

The next #Grenfell Silent march is on Thursday 14 June, 6.30.

If you would like to join the Barnet UNISON banner on the march simply contact the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

For those unable to make the 14 May, there is a protest organised by the Fire Brigades Union on Saturday 16, June, 12 noon assemble outside Downing Street, SW1A 1AA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Damning report into EasyCouncil outsourcing including a forward by John McDonnell”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: “Damming report into EasyCouncil outsourcing including a forward by John McDonnell”

You can read Barnet UNISON’s comprehensive report into outsourcing online here

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Barnet-UNISON-Capita-report-2018.pdf

Professor Dexter Whitfield’s report charts the origins of easyCouncil from its birth under the Leadership of Mike Freer MP right through to the present. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the dangers of outsourcing.

Cost

“The One Barnet programme has cost at least a staggering £23.66m to date, a substantial part of which was paid to management consultants engaged to legitimize Barnet Council’s outsourcing strategy.”

“Barnet Council uses agency staff on an industrial scale, spending nearly £20m in 2016-17 alone on a contract with Comensura Limited (Impellam Group plc).”

“It is equally likely that the cost of commissioning has soared because the Council miscalculated the costs of contract management and monitoring.”

Libraries

“Council has drastically reduced staffing hours in Barnet Libraries by 70.4%”

Family Services

“Critical OFSTED reviews in April and May 2017 concluded that Barnet’s services for children were ‘inadequate’ in all reported categories and graded ‘requires improvement’.”

“The Commissioner concluded that “…services have deteriorated significantly over the last five years” and identified flaws in the management of children’s services and the commissioning model.”

Social Care

“The Disability and Learning Service was transferred to the LATC but projected budget surpluses in the first year turned into significant losses leading to a £1m bailout from the LATC.”

“Barnet Council’s LATC created TBG Flex Limited to exploit deregulation and the LATC and Barnet workforce by the imposition of inferior terms and conditions on new permanent and temporary staff.”

“Barnet is a vitally important lesson that every outsourcing proposal should be challenged from the start, if necessary through the options appraisal, business case and procurement process, whilst promoting alternative policies, workplace organising, building community support and taking selective industrial action.” Dexter Whitfield, Director, European Services Strategy Unit and Adjunct Associate Professor, Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders University, Adelaide.

I want to salute the tenacity and resolve of Barnet UNISON who have fought a decade-long heroic struggle against outsourcing by the London Borough of Barnet. The ‘Future Shape’, ‘easyCouncil’ and ‘One Barnet’ programme is effectively dead as a result of Barnet UNISON. The last four services subjected to the alternative delivery model assessment all remained in-house. Under a Labour Government the default position for the delivery of public services will no longer be outsourcing. A Labour Government will place our trust in the public sector to deliver public services.” John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, Labour Party.

“For anyone looking to organise a campaign against outsourcing, must and should read this report. It provides a valuable insight into the challenges our branch and our community have had to face over the past decade. The amount of money spent on consultants to deliver this political ideology is heart-breaking when considering cuts to frontline services that have been imposed. This was money that could and should have been spent on our social care services and our library services. This report provides a stark warning of the consequences of rejecting in-house services in favour of outsourcing. Everything I feared would happen has happened, the sooner a managed plan to bring services back in-house is put in place the better.” John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

Dexter Whitfield on campaigning against outsourcing

https://youtu.be/zDt8VKKQ-Vs #Capita

Dexter Whitfield on outsourcing failures

https://youtu.be/IiD17Pt7OwY #Capita

Dexter Whitfield on true costs of Barnet easyCouncil

https://youtu.be/V0SytYCj1HA #Capita

Read full report here Barnet UNISON Capita report 2018

End.

Notes to Editors.

Contact details: John Burgess, Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: john.burgess@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

1. Mr easyCouncil defends his local government model

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/feb/03/mike-freer-easycouncil-interview

2. Your Choice Barnet (YCB) “The real deal”

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2014/08/21/your-choice-barnet-ycb-the-real-deal/

3. ‘It is not a transformation, it is a destruction’ – Barnet’s UNISON branch call to save library jobs

http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/14737931.___It_is_not_a_transformation__it_is_a_destruction________Barnet___s_UNISON_branch_call_to_save_library_jobs

4. Barnet UNISON Library Review

https://www.european-services-strategy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/barnet-library-review-2-unison.pdf

5. Barnet UNISON report on the results of our Family Services Survey, 2018.

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2018/02/05/barnet-unison-report-on-the-results-of-our-family-services-survey-2018/

6. One Barnet explained animation

https://youtu.be/o6I9kP6nCMg

7. Ten steps to learn more about One Barnet

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/?s=one+barnet

8. All links to Barnet UNISON reports on outsourcing over the past decade

https://www.european-services-strategy.org.uk/publications/public-bodies/transformation-and-public-service-reform/links-to-barnet-unison-reports-2008-2018

 

 

Barnet UNISON questions for Barnet Pension Fund Committee

Barnet UNISON members are key stakeholders in the Barnet Pension Local Government Scheme.

Barnet UNISON has been in discussions with Barnet Council and Capita for over 14 months in relation to most of the concerns identified in the recent Audit of the Pension Administration Service. We are presently meeting with Capita Pensions and senior officers to go through ongoing and sometime new emerging issues on behalf of our members.

As part of our role in support of our members, Barnet UNISON has the following questions for the Pension Fund Committee:

Agenda Item 7, Appendix B.

We note form Internal Audit Report that there is concern over pension data quality (finding 1) and pension calculations (finding 2 bullet point 4) http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s45261/Referral%20from%20Local%20Pension%20Board.pdf

  1. What action has been or will be taken to ensure that pension calculations were correct and based on reliable data for all those who took their pensions after 1st April 2015?

 

  1. What action has been or will be taken to ensure that pension calculations were correct and based on reliable data for all those who deferred their pension after 1st April 2015?

 

  1. What action has been or will be taken to ensure that pension calculations were correct and based on reliable data for all those who transferred their pension after 1st April 2015?

 

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