Friday 15 September 2017

Barnet's Payments to Capita - the external auditor challenges £44 million pre-payment

Barnet's external auditor has produced their final (almost) audit completion report. One thing they make reference to on page 32 is the amount Barnet have paid in advance to Capita where it says;

"As at 31 March 2017, the Council has a prepayment balance of £44.7 million in respect of its Customer and Support Group (CSG) contract. This contract covers a number of front line and back office services including finance, ICT, HR, customer services, revenues and benefits, procurement,
estates, and corporate programmes. As this is a significant prepayment, we challenged management with regard to its basis".

I have been raising this issue every since the contract was signed so it is good to see that the Auditor has now questioned it. The first prepayment made but the council's continuing desire to throw money at Capita was compounded in November 2016 when councillors agree a further advance payment of £26.9 million. In July Barnet paid Capita  £4,026,345.08 (which included Capita employee benefits of £2.68 million) and paid Re £1,760,758.67.

Set out below is the running total paid to capita through the CSG and Re contracts from the start and you will realise how much extra Capita are being paid add-ons such as special projects, gainshare and contract variations.

Barnet keep talking about the savings that Capita have made. They may have made savings on the core contract but all the extras are costing a fortune and as a net figure I see no savings whatsoever.

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