End Capita in Barnet: Lobby the Council on Tuesday 11 December

Barnet council has just released the Grant Thornton review in response to an alleged fraud of £2million. One of its major findings is that: Our view of both contracts has identified a number of significant weaknesses which may have resulted in contractual breaches. We have identified and reported what we believe are fundamental weaknesses in budgetary control and financial accounting”.

John Burgess, Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary declares … 
“I am shocked but not surprised at the content of the GT review of both Capita contracts. Barnet UNISON predicted that service quality would suffer once the services were privatised …. The Council is currently preparing a review of both Capita contracts. It is my view that in light of the GT review, it is untenable that the Council could even consider allowing Capita to run any of their services again.”

John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor says … “The Grant Thornton (GT) review of the two Capita contracts in Barnet provides yet more evidence of the folly of privatisation of public services …  I fully support your campaign to #KickOutCapita from Barnet and bring services back in-house.”

Mr Reasonable writes … “Is this the end of Capita in Barnet? Grant Thornton’s report is a devastating critique of Capita’s dismal performance.”

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “This is incompetence of scandalous proportions, and looks like a breach of contract. Barnet Council must act to terminate these two contracts and take back control of Capita-run services.”

For more detailed information … 
Read Barnet Unison’s statement here and Mr Reasonable’s detailed examination of the Grant Thornton review here.

Workers from TGI Fridays, McDonald’s and Wetherspoons will be going on strike together on Thursday 4 October 2018

Workers from TGI Fridays, McDonald’s and Wetherspoons will be going on strike together on 4th October. It is planned to be a real show of force and inter-union collaboration across the hospitality industry. There are a number of actions taking place across the region and we will publicise once we have details. Members from all three businesses will be in Leicester Square, Central London,  from 11am-12 making some noise and taking their  message to other hospitality workers in the area. They will also be joined by colleagues from the IUF Global Union Federation and fast food workers from a number of other countries coming to show global solidarity.

An open meeting of #KickOutCapita campaign and BAPS

With John Dix aka Mr Reasonable to explain and discuss the implications of the Grant Thornton report will be held on:

Tuesday 2 October 6.30 pm at the Greek Cypriot Centre, 2 Britannia Rd N12 9RU

Read the Grant Thornton auditors’ report and judge for yourself whether – after near bankrupting the council’s finances through their ideological choice of extreme outsourcing, with the results that are pointed out in this report – we shouldn’t expect some resignations or some heads to roll. We should think that at least Cllr Richard Cornelius and his deputy Cllr Daniel Thomas if not all the Conservative councillors who oversaw this shambles should resign if they have an ounce of integrity between them! Do Tory councillors have any integrity at all?

Barnet Labour call for termination of Capita contracts after fraud report suggests breach of contract

Following today’s publication of the audit report on the £2m Capita fraud case, Barnet Labour are calling for the termination of both Capita contracts with Barnet Council (CSG and Re Ltd).

They are also calling for the Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Cornelius, and his Deputy Leader Cllr Dan Thomas to resign.

The damning report reveals major failings in financial controls within Capita that allowed the fraud to take place and have serious implications for the future of the Council.

The report outlines the failings of five financial safety nets, any one of which, had they been functioning effectively, would have prevented the fraud.

Failings identified as enabling the fraud include: the perpetrator being given inappropriate access to financial systems; insufficient control over the processing of transactions, which meant that 62 inappropriate payments were made without being challenged; a lack of robust challenge and scrutiny at an operational level; and insufficient oversight by the Council.

Shockingly, the fraud was revealed not by the Council or Capita, but by suspicions raised by the perpetrator’s bank.

These failures show insufficient oversight by the Council, despite repeated calls from the Labour Group for tighter contract management.

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “This is incompetence of scandalous proportions, and looks like a breach of contract. Barnet Council must act to terminate these two contracts and take back control of Capita-run services.

“The Council are clearly not able to manage this kind of commercial relationship, and Capita have demonstrated they are not able to run key services to a basic standard.

“Cllrs Cornelius and Thomas must also take responsibility for what is ultimately a failure of their ideology driven policy. Their misplaced faith in Capita has ensured that the Council has insufficient financial oversight of outsourced services. And as they are responsible for the council’s finances and regeneration schemes, this fraud happened directly under their noses.

“Barnet Labour Councillors repeatedly warned of the risk of outsourcing so many services to the same organisation. Time after time this has been proved right.

“The fraud case is yet another incident in a never-ending saga of financial mismanagement. Barnet residents deserve better.”

Ends.
Notes: A copy of the Grant Thornton report can be found here: https://www.barnet.gov.uk/…/finance…/Financial-controls.html

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