Barnet Council has published a report today (Friday 7 June) that sets out further progress on realigning the council’s contractual arrangements with Capita.
Contract realignment update
The report, which will be presented to Policy and Resource Committee on Monday 17 June, recommends to members that the Skills, Employment and Economic Development team from within the Regeneration service and the Safety, Health & Wellbeing services return to be delivered by the council. The report also recommends reviewing the future contractual arrangements with Capita for those staff involved in the management and governance of the Brent Cross Cricklewood development scheme. The report summarises the consultation responses of the public and best value consultation that has taken place.
Members of the committee will consider the recommendation by officers that the Highways service remain with Capita, with a focus on driving service improvements where needed.
The report concludes that the absence of a Director post within the Highways service has been a key factor in the service issues that have been experienced. It also concludes that these issues are no more likely to be resolved through the service being insourced, than they are through jointly strengthening the performance management arrangements, and the recruitment of a Director, which is underway. There will also be tougher scrutiny of the performance of the council’s main highways contractor.
The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Dan Thomas, said: “The clear message from our residents is that they want good quality services. They also want services that are efficient and represent value for money.”
“Our past experiences have taught us that the work required to alter complex contracts, is significant. This is not something the council can enter into lightly, and there must be a compelling business case. We will do that when clearly there is a case – and most importantly, we know that it will enhance service delivery.
“Otherwise, our resources and efforts should be on continuing to drive forward service improvement, across all areas of the council, to deliver for residents. The recommendations put forward as part of this latest phase of the contract review will be discussed in detail by members at the Policy and Resources Committee”
Members will also consider the following recommendations: the review of remaining services should be conducted alongside the year 6 (CSG) and year 7 (RE) contract reviews, and that council officers will continue to work with colleagues in Capita to achieve the necessary improvements in the Pension Administrations Service. As part of this recommendation, officers will also develop contingency plans to find an alternative provider for the pensions service, if required.
A public consultation was conducted in relation to the contract review between 19 December 2018 and 15 February 2019, involving an on-line questionnaire and two focus groups. There were 343 completed questionnaires submitted and 21 people took part in the focus groups.
Barnet Council announced in July 2018 that it would be carrying out a review of its contract with Capita. Finance and Strategic HR transferred back to Barnet Council from Capita in April, as part of that review.