Monday, 28 April 2014

Capita £8.6 million - Transparency Nil

Barnet's supplier payments for March are out and one of the largest recipients is Capita. In just 5 payments all marked consultants fees Capita received £8,618,564. I know this isn't all for consultancy fees but I do no know what it does represent. I have said repeatedly over the last two years that it is essential that there is adequate transparency on Capita's invoices but despite all the reassurances there is absolutely none.

As seems to happen at the end of each financial year City Suburban Tree Surgeons submit a mass of invoices, this year totaling £248,027.47. Comensura who provide agency and interim staff billed £918,310.62 in March, and this is an area criticised in the latest internal audit report regarding who authorises all of these agency and interim staff.

Ernst & Young billed £140,618 for consultancy fees. Given the council are making hundreds of staff redundant I still find it hard to reconcile with the Council continues to use expensive consultants. The council also shelled out £185,288 to a company called Facultatieve Technologies Ltd and the item is classified as "Consultants Fees". In reality this company manufacturers cremators and this is, I suspect, an upgrade to the cremator at Hendon. It would be nice if the suppliers list was a little more descriptive and clear about what these payments are actually for.

No payments were made to Agilysis but their implementation partner Impower billed a modest £29,000. However this is classified as "agency/interim" so this suggest it is to pay a temporary member of staff in which case it seems rather a lot of money for just one month.

Our outsourced legal services are provided by London Borough of Harrow. In March they were paid £792,981.84. This is all the more significant thanks to the Internal Auditor's report which highlighted the overspend on this contract and lack of understand as to how the services are recharged. This contract needs ongoing and much more detailed scrutiny.

NSL our parking services operator was paid £462,944.35 in March which seems a great deal for such a poor service.

Barnet also paid £10,695 to a company called Window Flowers Limited who number amongst their clients The Grosvenor House Hotel, The Ritz Hairdressers, Citibank and The Royal Thames Yacht Club. At a time of austerity it surprises me we are shelling out 10 grand on flowers.

There were also the usual large payments for rent on North London Business Park, £524.456.16 to Ridgeland Properties, a  Comer Brothers company, and £186,250 to Dancastle Associates Ltd for the rent on Barnet House.

Barnet paid it suppliers £38.47 million in March and it would be nice if there was a little more transparency on what they spent it on.

1 comment:

  1. What I noticed last year was that instead of accruing March invoices that missed the cut-off the council got suppliers to invoice them early even if the invoice amount was not going to be exactly correct probably so they could boast how quickly they signed off the Accounts, and the invoices were probably paid before they were due.

    Tail wags dog.