Sheffield Council: Why they decided to bring all services back in-house from Capita

 

To view Barnet UNISON Briefing Number 2 Part Two click on link below

Briefing Number 2 – Sheffield Part Two

“Some of the resource saving opportunities identified in the proposed options could be utilised to invest in service delivery and improve the service delivered to Sheffield citizens (and potentially increase council revenue collection).”

http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/documents/s32596/Future%20of%20Revenues%20Benefits%20FBT%20Services%20-%20Cabinet%20Report.pdf

Sheffield Council: Why they decided to bring their IT back in-house from Capita

“The current partnership agreement has a break clause in 2020 which would enable the Council to end the contract then and avoid the full impact of the termination costs and some of the exist costs. We have considered this option and discounted it because it would prevent us from making progress with our Technology 2020 Strategy in the required timescales. It would also mean that we would be continuing to pay for the ICT Service at the contractual rate for at least another year and we would miss the opportunity to take the savings earlier. Making a decision now would also impact the assessment of the remaining services (see paragraph 1.10).”

(Source: http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/documents/s31155/Technology%20Strategy%20and%20Sourcing%20Approach.pdf

The following Barnet UNISON Briefing was sent to all Barnet Council Councillors

Briefing Number 1 – Sheffield Part One

 

Breaking News: “Seriously are they really keeping Capita?”

 

Barnet UNISON was bitterly disappointed to read that Barnet Council is now back tracking on a decision agreed at a Special Policy and Resources Committee on 19 July 2018.

The decision was to review the council’s partnership with Capita, and authorise the Chief Executive to develop a Full Business Case for all of the following Options:

  1. Keep both Capita contracts as they are now.
  2. Bring some Capita services back in-house from both contracts.
  3. Bring all the services back in-house from both contracts.

“all three options should be fully tested, consulted on and considered in a Full Business Case before a final decision was made”

Barnet Council has now announced that only these services will be brought back in-house:

“It is intended that the report will recommend that Finance and Accounting (excluding transactional services provided from the Darlington shared service centre) and Strategic HR be transferred back to the council by the end of this financial year (March 2019).”

The announcement goes on to add:

“The arrangements for remaining services are still to be considered and timescales will be confirmed in due course. However, it is also likely that the report will recommend that Highways and Regeneration be reviewed as one of the earlier phases.”

The news may come as a surprise to our members, especially in light to recent fraud and the damning Grant Thornton report which is going to be discussed at the Audit Committee on 22 November.

However, Barnet UNISON is not surprised by the decision: this is Barnet.

Last week we sent a report to all Councillors on the Policy and Resources Committee entitled:

 “How bad does it have to get?”

You can read our report here:

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Capita-review-Barnet-UNISON-FINAL.pdf

The sheer number of  Councils ending their contracts with Capita in 2018 is very worrying.

These big contracts are just as complex as the one in Barnet and often involve the same services that Barnet outsourced to Capita.

If Southampton, Sheffield, Blackburn and Birmingham can end contracts with Capita and still make savings then why can’t Barnet?

Barnet UNISON is not giving up on our aim to see all services brought back in-house.

This is why we are directly asking all of our members working for Capita this question:

“If you have any information, questions or concerns that you think we should know about, strictly in confidence, please make urgent contact with the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

In the meantime take a look at this infographic below for 2018 only.

 

Barnet House Hub Proposal – Barnet UNISON

Barnet Council long term accommodation strategy involved staff moving to new build accommodation in Colindale.

The plan was to exit the Barnet House lease early (it expires in 2030) as the Landlord has plans to develop the site. There may even have been a financial payment from the Landlord to request the Council to leave early.

Barnet Council pay approximately £750k rent on the building.

However earlier this year the Landlords plans for Barnet House were rejected

‘Dog kennel’ flats in Barnet will be 40% smaller than Travelodge room

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/27/dog-kennel-flats-barnet-house-smaller-than-travelodge-room

Barnet UNISONs proposal is for Barnet House to be one of the community hubs for staff to work in. Depending on demand there could be opportunities for the Council to rent out office accommodation in order to raise additional income. I understand the cost per square foot at Barnet House is a great deal cheaper NLBP. The site is ideally located to all forms of transport. Barnet UNISON is confident that working from a Barnet House hub would also be popular option for staff across a number of employers and would enable continued access for residents this side of the borough.

Barnet UNISON has submitted this proposal to the Council and will update our members when we have a response.

“How bad must it get before Barnet Council terminate the two Capita contracts?”

This report is a collection of published online articles in 2018 that relate to Capita failure and organisations taking services back in-house.

Barnet Council is currently conducting a review of both Capita contracts.

However, history of decision making in Barnet leaves Barnet UNISON with a feeling of dread.

Barnet Council likes to be different, to buck the trend hence the easyCouncil model was pushed through despite the best efforts of Barnet UNISON and community campaigners and Barnet Bloggers.

In 2018 Capita issued a Profit warning which saw their Share price drop over the cliff literally days after Carillion collapsed. We now know Government were still awarding contracts to Carillion even when it was clear their share price was going through the floor.

Today 26 October 2018 Capita Share price is £1.20

View our report here How bad must it get

 

Barnet UNISON: Urgent Pension information update 26 October 2018

Barnet UNISON: Urgent Pension information update 26 October 2018

Dear member

Once again our Pension Administration service has failed and had to be reported to the Pensions Regulator.

“The London Borough of Barnet Council has reported itself to the Pensions Regulator after failing to produce 447 pension benefit statements on time.”

http://www.pensions-expert.com/DB-Derisking/Barnet-in-TPR-breach-as-Capita-misses-payments

This is second year in a row that this has happened.

Barnet UNISON has never known things to be this bad.

The in-house service never had these problems.

Furthermore the article reports:

“The committee also said that outsourcer Capita, which carries out a variety of services for the council and is the pension scheme’s own administrator, has failed to make requisite deficit contributions for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 periods of more than £2m.”

What does this mean?

It means that Capita have apparently not paid any Pension contributions to their own Barnet Capita workforce (CSG and RE) for the past 18 months.

What has Barnet UNISON done?

Barnet UNISON wrote to Mark Dally and John Hooton Chief Executive on 23 October seeking urgent conformation that the pension contributions will be paid immediately and that a communication to all staff is sent confirming that all contributions have been made.

Update:

As of today Friday 26 October 2018 we have not had confirmation that any Pensions contributions to the workforce have been made.

What you can do.

Please check your payslips. You should have a section on your payslip which shows your Pension contribution for that month. Please check to see if you can see if the Employers contribution has been identified. The period that you need to check is for 2017/2018 and 2018/19 to date.

 

If you have any concerns about your Pension and would like a one to one meeting please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Taxi for Mitie: Council Housing repairs come back in-house

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is set to return its housing repairs service to council control, bringing to an end the contract with Mitie.

This follows on from winding up Hammersmith and Fulham ALMO, H&F Homes, in 2010.

“We’ve listened to what tenants and leaseholders have told us about the repairs service,” says Cllr Lisa Homan, Cabinet Member for Housing. “That’s why we will now take back direct control of the repair and maintenance for our 17,000 homes.

“We’re determined to provide a safe and secure place to live for our tenants and leaseholders. This decision is the start of a new way to deliver for our residents.”

The council will now set up a new council-run repairs service, a direct labour organisation, which will work alongside a range of new contractors to deliver repairs.

https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/articles/news/2018/10/hf-return-its-housing-repair-service-council-control

https://www.24housing.co.uk/yournews/hammersmith-fulham-to-bring-housing-almo-back-under-council-control/

Barnet UNISON have written to Barnet Group Chief Executive asking if Barnet Homes will be doing the same. The private contractor Mears currently provide Council Housing repair service.

Another #Capita Pension failure………

Dear Barnet UNISON members

Once again our Pension Administration service has failed and had to be reported to the Pensions Regulator.

“The London Borough of Barnet Council has reported itself to the Pensions Regulator after failing to produce 447 pension benefit statements on time.”

http://www.pensions-expert.com/DB-Derisking/Barnet-in-TPR-breach-as-Capita-misses-payments

This is second year in a row that this has happened.

Barnet UNISON has never known things to be this bad.

The in-house service never had these problems.

Furthermore the article reports:

“The committee also said that outsourcer Capita, which carries out a variety of services for the council and is the pension scheme’s own administrator, has failed to make requisite deficit contributions for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 periods of more than £2m.”

For all of our members who TUPED to Capita Barnet UNISON has written to Mark Dally today seeking urgent conformation that the pension contributions will be paid immediately and that a communication to all staff is conforming that fact.

Barnet Council is currently carrying out a review of both Capita contracts.

There are three options

  1. Keep both contracts.
  2. Bring some Capita services back in-house.
  3. Bring all the services back in-house.

The obvious question from our members is how is it possible that senior officers working on the Capita contract review can seriously recommend that Pension Administration service stays with Capita.

Barnet UNISON view is Option 3

If you have any concerns about your Pension and would like a one to one meeting please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

IMPORTANT MEETING

Date: Tuesday 6 November 2018

Venue:  Committee Room Corridor, House of Commons Westminster, London SW1A 0AA.

Time: 7pm

Organised by Barnet Alliance for Public Services and Barnet UNISON

Chair: Aditya Chakrabortty Guardian columnist and senior economics commentator

Purpose of Inquiry

To hear evidence from residents, trade unions, politicians on what Capita has done in Barnet and elsewhere and end with a set of recommendations.

Details: http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2018/10/16/barnet-kickoutcapita-inquiry-6-november-2018/

 

 

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