Some stories never go away. Readers will recall that one of the (completely bogus) justifications for entering into the out-sourcing deal with Capita was that the council couldn't afford the upfront investment that Capita were going to make. Seemingly 10 minutes later (on 5 August 13) when the ink was still drying on the contract a cheque for £16.1m (it would have been a BACS payment but let's not be picky) was handed to Capita by the council to fund the investment.
One of our finer citizens, John Sullivan, has been mulling this over as he claims not to understand finance but he does know when he's been shafted and he has made an excellent protest song on the subject, and here it is:
A great voice that John has.
Whilst on the subject, has anyone seen the fruits of this £16.1m? Certainly it hasn't been spent on a new switchboard as that was broken last week, nor on upgrading the well out of date SWIFT & Wisdom (lack of) software in Adults & Communities which store client records and documentation on currently well out of date platforms (physical computer equipment) as that took a kicking at last week's Audit Committee.
Has anyone got a list of what the £16.1m has been spent on?
(It is probably impossible to find out without the council's help as the over £500 spending list does not contain any really useful details, and Capita's contract is mainly based upon providing outcomes rather than inputs, and so it is mostly up to Capita to decide what to spend the loot on and they could be spending it on systems which serve more than one client and thus it is their spend and not the council's. Outsourcing leads to less openness and transparency).