On Wednesday 20 February 2019 at 7pm Hendon Town Hall Mr Reasonable aka John Dix, locks horns with easyCouncil over their precarious finances.
His attempts to get Barnet Tory Councillors to see sense is legendary. Despite more and more evidence of financial mismanagement by Tory easyCouncil they refuse to learn lessons by Kicking Capita out of Barnet.
You can read his questions to the Tories below
Mr Reasonable: Questions for the Policy & Resources Committee on 20 February
You can read just how badly Capita are failing here
Mr Reasonable: Capita are not performing well in Barnet – But look who is saying that.
Join Mr Reasonable Wednesday 20 February 2019 at 7pm Hendon Town Hall.
Capita have failed to action a key recommendation from the Grant Thornton report into a £2m fraud committed by a former Capita employee, according to a report discussed at Barnet Council’s Audit Committee (31 January).
Recommendation 15 seeks to ensure the Council’s payment system (BACS) is reviewed for the adequacy of controls over new suppliers where there is no purchase order, to make sure the Council is paying the correct bank accounts. This is a “High immediate” priority, as misuse of the BACS process and a lack of checking basic details such as bank accounts was a key reason the fraud was allowed to happen.
Grant Thornton, Barnet Council, and Capita all agreed to the action, but one Capita employee at a remote location disagreed and decided not to implement it. The news was met with disbelief from both Labour and Conservative Councillors.
Labour Audit spokesperson, Cllr Alison Moore said:
“There must be an investigation into how this was allowed to happen. We are 6 months on from the publication of the report, and our last update said this action had been submitted and verified for testing. It is completely unacceptable.”
Fellow Audit Committee member, Cllr Kathy Levine added:
“This is further evidence of how inept Capita are, and how they do not have proper processes in place: one local officer can override the instructions of the Council’s Director of Finance, the Council’s internal audit function, Grant Thornton, and even the Capita partnership managers. A Conservative Councillor called this the tail wagging the dog and they are very right.”
1. A copy of the update on the Grant Thornton recommendations can be found here (Agenda Item 7):
Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) have produced this guide to help maximise residents participation in the Council consultation on Capita. To this end, we have provided some suggestions as to how you might want to complete the survey.
The online consultation can be found here. If you wish, you can review the questionnaire in a PDF format here before you fill it.
The consultation will close on the 15th of February. Please make sure you fill it. If you know of anyone who would prefer to fill a paper questionnaire please let us know.
BAPS is very much aware that not all Barnet residents are online and have subsequently asked that hard-copy versions are provided for residents to be able to complete. Furthermore, we have asked the Council to provide an Easy Read version. All of the hard–copy versions should be made available at all public buildings, including libraries, Barnet House and North London Business Park.
Barnet Trades Council and Barnet Alliance for Public Services are concerned and dismayed that Brent Council wants to renew its contract with Capita. Our experience of Capita is that it has delivered appalling service and therefore we, together with our local Labour Party, are campaigning for all services run by Capita for Barnet to be brought in-house forthwith. #kickoutcapita is our grass-roots campaign.
Examples of Capita’s misdemeanours in Barnet include:
- A two million pound fraud carried out by a Capita employee, Capita’s lax and opaque processes completely failed to detect
- A call centre which has consistently failed to answer residents’ calls in the required time
- Incorrectly withdrawing travel passes from disabled and vulnerable people
- Actually cost taxpayers more money than in-house services would, through extra charges and “gainshare” payments designed to maximise their profits at public expense
- Performed extremely poorly in audits of the council and brought down the overall standards of council services
We urge Brent Council not to renew its contract with Capita. Capita, along with other failed and failing outsourcing giants like Carillion and Interserve have proved to be entirely failed models. We want to Kick Out Capita from Barnet and bring all services back in-house and under local democratic control. Brent Council should do likewise. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell has spoken brilliantly about how properly funded, democratically accountable in-sourced public services are the future for the country and we agree. Together we are stronger.
On Tuesday 15 January at 6.30 pm, Greek Cypriot Centre, BAPS is meeting to discuss how to produce a guide to complete the Barnet Council Capita consultation.
The online consultation survey is here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/barnet-strategic-contract
Attached – the questionnaire in PDF for ease of consideration, courtesy of Derek Dishman – Mr Mustard.
The purpose of the meeting is to agree a resident’s guide to completing the survey.
We will need to widely circulate the guide to as many residents as possible.
Time permitting we will also discuss #Bingate.
Please try to circulate the BAPS meeting and the content through all your contact lists etc.
See you all on Tuesday.
Read the Hendon Times report here.
NHS England gave Capita, a contract to provide GP back-office services. In the space of one month another serious failure has come to light that once again puts women at risk.
Sign the petition.
“Another 3,591 women were not sent information on cervical screening as a result of errors by Capita, NHS England has said. Last month, it emerged that 47,708 women did not receive a smear test invitation, reminder or results between January and June because of Capita’s failure to send out letters.
On Wednesday, NHSE said the number had risen to more than 50,000 after a review uncovered more correspondence from last year that was not sent.”
Dr Richard Vautrey, the BMA GP committee chair, repeated the doctors’ union’s demand for the contractor to be stripped of its contract. “This is just the latest in a long line of failures since Capita took over a number of GP services in 2015, and yet NHS England have not demonstrated to the profession that they are serious at addressing what ultimately they are responsible for,” he said.
You can read more details here:
Tuesday 4 December, 18:30 – 20:30
Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, NW4 4BG
Come and hear first hand residents’ evidence.
Register here at Eventbrite.
Organised by BAPS and Barnet Unison