12 January 2012

Will the Parking Contract Award be appealed?

"It's not cricket" is the cry to be heard at football stadia around Barnet!

Barnet Council don't have a good reputation in procurement for sticking to the rules very well and so there is every chance that somewhere in the award of the parking contract they will have fallen foul of EU guidelines or their own procedures. Here is the paperwork which was presented to the Cabinet Resources Committee on 14 December 2011 and following which a vote was taken to award the contract to NSL whose numerous failings can be read about on the internet.

Barnet Council Award of Parking Contract

We are now in the "Alcatel" period which is a standstill period of 10 days to allow time for an appeal to be launched. It saves time and money to give the losers time to stop and think and avoids a council wasting time and money getting going with the new provider and then see the award overturned.

Barnet Council are so coy about the names.

Let Mr Mustard see if he can take some lucky guesses at who Companies A, C & D are for you.

APCOA must be in the running and sound like Company C. They operate parking enforcement for loads of authorities and so patently can do the job. Mr Mustard expects they will appeal on the grounds of lack of objective scoring.

Company A looks like it might be Mouchel who came first in the scoring at the PQQ stage, 8 points ahead of NSl and magically dropped to second and 4 points behind NSL in the final round of scoring. Either scoring isn't consistent or something funny has gone on. Now Mouchel do have some financial woes but as long as they don't touch client monies and are paid at least a month in arrears they could still be used as replacing them would be easily achieved should they go under. They do have form for appealing, against Westminster Council's parking contract award, and so hopefully they will flex their muscles here in Barnet.

Company D is clearly On Time Parking whose cheerful operator rescued Mr Mustard's broken down motor from the side of the road once many years ago. They are local which is good and keeps the jobs locally. They might well have proved to be the wisest choice. A growing local company keen to impress. Mr Mustard is uncertain as to whether they will put the money into an appeal but it might be a worthwhile investment to help them break further into the market. Big money is available in fees for the successful operator. Hammersmith, Haringey and Fulham boroughs already use them.

We will know the answer in the next 10 days. Howzat!

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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