Friday 29 January 2016

Kerching! £18 million for Capita

Updated 4 February 2016 see below in red

December supplier payments are out and Christmas clearly was a season to be merry. Capita billed £18,264,588.36 in December on both the Re and CSG contracts. That brings their running total for the financial year to £61.26 million, £10 million more than the whole of 2014/15 and a total of £168.3 million since the start of the contract two and a half years ago. While certain Councillors keep repeating the mantra "Capita are saving money" I keep asking them to show me the evidence because the amount of money we are paying seems immense compared to the core contract value.

Our friends Comensura were also paid £1.58 million in December bringing the total this financial year to date to £13.8 million for agency and interim staff. This remains a contract out of control although I note that they have not asked for an advance payment this year to cover the Christmas period.

There are a couple of other anomalies in the payments. The first is for a large amount of money £640,640 which was paid to the Accountant General of the Senior Court. I wonder what this is for?

I am grateful to the FOI department at Barnet Council for a very speedy and complete response. This sum is for the Compulsory Purchase of a derelict property in NW4, so whilst it is a large payment out it is now an asset of the council. Zoopla suggests that the value of the properties either side are valued at just over £1 million so let's hope this property generates a return on investment for the council.

The second payment was a much more modest amount of £1,552.11 on 15 December and was for "Equipment and Material Purchases" by the Assurance Department. Nothing strange about that you may say other than the supplier name - Haven Bistro & Bar, the very pleasant restaurant in Whetstone. You will not be surprised that I have already submitted an FOI request for the invoice. I hope this isn't a repeat of the erroneous invoice for "training" which was carried out at the Claddagh Ring pub which I blogged about here .

As always I will keep a watch on spending in Barnet.


  1. So who is "The accountant general of the senior court" and why have Barnet paid them over half a million quid?

    1. The accountant general to the senior court is the person to whom you address payments when you make payments into court. The three main sources are
      - Damages awarded to children as a result of civil legal action in a county court in England or Wales or the High Court of Justice. These assets are held on their behalf until the child reaches majority (18 years of age);
      - Assets belonging to people who lack the capacity to manage their own financial affairs where the CoP has appointed someone else to manage their affairs;
      - Cases where money is held in court pending settlement of civil court action, or on behalf of dissenting shareholders, widows and other clients whose funds are held under a variety of different statutes.
      I hope my FOI request may shine a light onto what it was paid for.

  2. I must be remembering wrong / thought it was 100M over 10 years? Or is that the saving?
    Any idea how much would've been spent without Capita?

    1. Hi Timbo, The problem was that from the outset the cost has never been clear. Based on my calculations we should be paying £36.56 million a year for the two contracts-you can see the calculations at So in the 28 months of the contract we should have paid £102.4 million whereas we have actually paid £168.3 million or £65.9 million more than anticipated.