Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Another Way of Looking at One Barnet
Imagine that a company you had never heard of said to you, “We will take control of all you major household expenses; we will supply your car; we will deliver your food; pay your utility bills. We will supply your TV, computer, telephone and internet connection. We will pay your mortgage and maintain your house in good repair. We will even apply for benefits you are entitled to and prepare your tax return. Sign up for a minimum ten year contract and make one monthly payment to us for all these services and we reckon we can make savings of between 8% and 10%. Over ten years that's thousands of pounds”.
Then ask yourself is that something you would commit to. Of course you wouldn’t. Individually you might get different companies to provides all of these services and some you might do yourself. With this approach you are putting all your eggs in one basket and the risks of it going wrong are huge. Think about all the circumstances that might change, what if you don't like the food they buy when they switch to a low cost supplier. Yes I know they are still teabags but they are the sweepings off the floor and the beef comes from Namibia and the chicken comes from Vietnam. What if they sub-contract out your household repairs to Bill Bodgett & Sons who only do the bare minimum of repairs leaving your house in a much more dilapidated condition at the end of ten years. What happens if your family grows and you need a bigger car- can you change cars? What happens if they sub-contract out the mortgage to a euro provider who subsequently goes bust or whacks up the interest rate? The more you think about it the riskier it seems.
This is exactly what the One Barnet project is all about but on a much, much bigger scale. There are hundreds of variables in the One Barnet contract; there are numerous circumstances which could change over 10 years but we will be locked into this contract come what may. That is why One Barnet Outsourcing is a massive risk and one that Councillors should not be taking.