Barnet Council – One Barnet Programme (OBP)
There are two key Council responses to any criticism of the OBP are
We will have a special ‘Flexible contract’ and a genuine ‘Partnership’ with the contractors delivering services to Barnet residents.
Let’s take a look at what Flexible contracts & Partnerships in action.
Somerset County Council is now embroiled in a legal dispute with their Joint Venture Partner Southwest One.
“Somerset County Council preparing for court in escalating conflict with IBM”
This report (to view click here) is going to their Cabinet Committee on Monday 29 October 2012.
The report provides clear evidence that even in dire financial climate just what happens to a partnership.
Somerset Council has and continues to make cuts to services. We see no evidence that the Partners Southwest One and IBM are helping share that burden.
What this report reveals is that the partner has decided to take action against the Council. The Council has been trying to contract manage the Partner and this has resulted in further legal claims by the partner see extract below:
“SWo has issued a legal claim against SCC on this issue. It is paramount that we look after the best interests of Somerset’s tax payers and we will defend SCC’s position. Where standards of quality and performance are not being met, we will take action.
1.2. On 3rd September 2012 SWo served court proceedings against SCC for the Procurement Dispute.
1.3. The history of SWo poor performance is continuing; during 2012 the Client team have been holding SWo to account; resulting in the serving of 8 contractual notices to SWo.
1.4. Over the past 3 weeks SWo have commenced Disputes on several other matters, issuing further financial claims and disputing SCC’s warning notices.
1.5. With a number of escalating Disputes, we need to take action to:”
Here is proof that even when the client team try to hold the partner to account the response from the partner has been to issue further financial claims against the council.
Barnet Council responses to questions from residents and councillors at the recent Business Management Overview & Scrutiny Committee (24 October 2012) were that a flexible contract & good partner will ensure services will not be cut or deteriorate. If there are any problems with a contractor these will be addressed by the client side monitoring team,
You can view the responses made at the above meeting by clicking on the links below
1. Barnet Council’s new Interim Chief Executive, Andrew Travers, explains OneBarnet
2. Hugh Rayner: How can we stop the Council getting screwed in contracts?
3. Rowan Turner aren’t 10 year contracts normal and really without much risk?
4. Brian Salinger on OneBarnet Bus Mgmt OSC 24 Oct 2012
The total value of the One Barnet contracts is in excess of a Billion Pounds and tie the council into 10 year contracts.
The Council just doesn’t appear to be taking the concerns about the risks seriously by simply stating they can control and hold to account massive multinational companies.
This is why we are calling the OBP a Billion Pound Gamble
We believe that it will lead to
· Poorer services,
· Rewarding a contractor for a poorer service,
· Higher charges for services to residents
· And sadly massive redundancies for staff as the contractor takes employment out of the borough.
You can read all about One Barnet Programme by clicking on the link here
You can help by supporting the campaign and carry out three simple tasks
1. Sign the Stop One Barnet Petition by clicking on this link http://petitions.barnet.gov.uk/StopOneBarnet/
2. Join Barnet residents at the One Barnet Question Time meeting on Thursday 8 November at 7 pm. For details of the event click here
3. Pop along to one of the screenings of the film “Barnet – The Billion Pound Gamble” details here http://www.billionpoundgamble.co.uk/