I didn't report the supplier payment figures last month as I had significant concerns about the agency costs. These concerns remain. Set out below is an analysis of the agency costs as declared in supplier payments for this financial year.
Since the contract changed over on 1 October the payments have plummeted. This suggests that either:
a) there has been a massive change in recruitment policy since October; or
b) not all the figures have been declared since the new contract started in October.
We will have to wait and see what is the right answer. Given that there was a significant use of agency staff on the refuse service following the changes made to the collection rounds I wonder if they are included in these figures or if they are using another agency which so far hasn't shown up.
In addition there were some large and unusual payments as follows:
- £538,745.70 to JLT Speciality, an insurance broker. Given the council insurer is Zurich Municipal (to whom we paid £504,237.21 in December) it makes me wonder why we paid so much to JLT.
- £828,155.00 to S&B Commercials who sell large commercial vehicles. I wonder if this is where Barnet bought their new bin lorries and who authorised such a large payment.
- £99,424.50 to Capacitygrid. That may not seem like a huge amount but the services they seem to offer appear to be the same as those we pay Capita to provide. My question would be, are we paying twice for some services?