Wednesday 5 April 2023

Latest spending figures from Barnet and a 'blast from the past'

 Latest supplier payments are out and as the Capita Re contract draws to an end we see how much we are still paying Capita. In February we paid them £2.77 million on the CSG contracts and £503k on the Re contract. That brings the total to date to £641 million and we still have some payments to go. The Re contract has just ended so hopefully we will see the final payments at the end of the month when they are published. Barnet have extended the contract for a number of elements for the CSG contract so we will have a further three years of payments on that contract.

The spend on agency staff remains high and with one more month to go before year end it looks like we have already exceeded last year's spend at more than £17.3 million and are on course to hit the highest level since the peak in 2016/17. I hope someone is keeping a very close eye on this spend.

I was also interested to see a name I recognised from some while ago. Impower Consulting are, I believe, the same company that, alongside Agilisys, previously provided advice to Barnet on the mass outsourcing of services back in 2012 for the Capita contracts. They are definitely the same company who, in 2015, helped outsource the education services including school meals. Sadly the school meals ended up being sub-contracted out to another company so that the Council had no direct contractual relationship with the school meals provider and the education services contract was handed back to Barnet as soon as Covid hit in 2020, three years ahead of the planned contract expiry date. You can read about it here. This year to date we have paid Impower £133,692.96, a not inconsiderable sum. I hope it represents genuine value for money.

We have also spent £110,528 with a company called Peoplescout, a 'talent solutions' company which I think means recruitment. With all of the Re contract being brought back in house I suspect the cost of recruitment companies will be higher than normal but is something I will keep an eye on.

Finally is Brent Cross, where so far this financial year Barnet have spent £50.6 million. This follows on from £77.1 million spent in 2021/22, £70.8 million in 2020/21 and £45.5 million in 2019/20. I hope that all this expenditure is going to be worth it in the end.

I continue to keep an eye on Barnet's spending.

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