7 April 2014

KPI target too hard to meet? then get an easier one

Key Performance Indicator 5 (KPI5) in the parking enforcement contract with NSL is the following:

The Service provider will be required to ensure that staff turnover shall not exceed an annual mean of 10% (A mean is an average). This will include all staff employed on the contract ...

Some variance is allowed, as the contract also says:

There is a tolerance level of 5% which is likely to be adjusted during the life of the Contract:

which Mr Mustard reads as up to 10.5% is allowed (not 10+5 = 15% as that would make a mockery of the target. The contract also requires monthly reports of staff in post at the end of each month.

Mr Mustard had asked to see the actual KPI measurements for the year to 31 March 13 as part of the annual audit process which invites the public to visit the council and look at paperwork. Mr Mustard discovered last June that there were no actual KPI measurements for 2012/13.

Mr Mustard doesn't think there is a hope in hell of NSL ever meeting this KPI although it didn't become part of the performance pay structure until month 13 which is May 13. The point of the KPI is to to try and get stability in the workforce which leads to better teamwork and a greater understanding of the client's needs and of Barnet's parking enforcement.

How long did NSL last before, it seems, they decided they wanted out of this KPI? Until 10 September 13. This is the note from the meeting:

Suggested replacing this KPI with one linked to PATAS performance. Redacted to offer proposal for new KPI.

If Mr Mustard was the contract manager the request (and the assumption is that NSL requested this change and not the council, as why would they?) would be rejected outright. NSL are supposedly the number 1 parking enforcement company (how bad the number 2 must be Mr Mustard can't begin to imagine) and are a large company who have sufficient market experience to know what type of contract they have freely entered into. Negotiation of a different KPI should have taken place during the tender process if this one didn't suit them.

The provision of paperwork on time and for all cases to PATAS forms part of KPI9 (Processing Services) or KPI 10 (Response services) which hilariously NSL reported no problems with meeting. Mr Mustard could provide dozens of cases where processing and/or responses have gone wrong.

Thus the only criteria he could see for measuring PATAS performance are the Appeal success rate or the percentage of PCN which are Appealed to PATAS and both measures make him feel uncomfortable.


Because the Appeal success rate is affected by many other factors such as the state of signs and lines or the fact that the Traffic Management Order is faulty thanks to someone in Highways or even which adjudicator hears a case.

If the percentage appealed to PATAS is used where does one set the bar? It needs to be at the level that used to prevail before NSL took over or at the average for London (excluding the City and TfL as they are special cases).

Best leave KPI5 as it is. Mr Mustard will remain vigilant on KPIs. Doubtless Capita will want to do the same if they have trouble meeting any of the KPI in their much larger contract.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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