26 August 2011

In the rush to outsource, little details are missed - what chance for the big ones ?

Here is the glossy brochure that was prepared to help tempt big bidders at the Development and Regulatory Services market day to put their hands in their pockets. As the services on offer are a veritable smorgasbord there is unlikely to be a shortage of suppliers who want the work especially as the bids are likely to be a on a cost plus basis i.e. you are guaranteed to make a profit. The range of service being tendered is vast and it is ridiculous to expect that one bidder can carry them all out to a high standard and some of them, like Registration & Nationality, simply should not be outsourced.

Whilst you are looking at this glossy brochure have a guess at what you think it cost to design ( most of the information is a cut and paste from other documents ) and to print 200 of them.

click click to enlarge any picture & back to return

So there we have it. A lovely glossy brochure that is one of the early steps in outsourcing many services that the council really should manage itself. 

Do we really want to outsource the one person who looks after Transport & Regeneration? or the 4 who deal with Highways Strategy?

Isn't a Highways Strategy strategy something that the council will still need and so to act as the link between the council and the outsourced provider the council will then have to employ somebody? It sounds like costs will go up not down.

So, 200 of this brochure were produced.

The design cost was £3,750 and yet pretty much all of the content would have had to be supplied by the council. So £3,750 for putting stuff in order and throwing in a few pictures.

The print cost was £1,450

So that is £5,200 that could have been spent on something else which has been thrown away. 

Now having spent all that money on design one would hope that the brochure was indeed error free but typically for Barnet Council, it isn't. Take a look at pages 34 & 36 which contain a copy of the letter sent to Soft Market Testing Participants. 

When was it sent : 6 July 2010 - Mr Mustard knows that is wrong as the decision to get rid of DRS was only taken on 29 November 2010

When did you have to return your paperwork by : 14 July 2010 - oh dear, wrong again.

Interview date : 16 July 2010. Oops

Whose name is at the bottom of this letter. Oh its Tommy, no Captain, no Craig Cooper, the £130,000 a year Director of Commercial Services. If Crapita win this contract then you'll become known in blogging circles as Crapitain Cooper (the phrase Captain Cooper is the copyright of Mrs Angry whose first rate blog you can find here. & credit to Private Eye who coined the word Crapita; only £1.50 and so much good stuff; even our very own Bwian in the latest issue on LFB matters - towards the back though - not the top billing he probably expects)

How can Barnet Council be trusted with the big issues if they can't get the little details correct.

Oh, and if you don't like what Barnet Council are doing then you need to email your councillor, or phone them or buttonhole them in their surgery.

Contact details are here.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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