16 July 2013

the NSCSO judicial review - some thoughts

Mr Mustard is having coughing fits (no it is isn't anything serious but he doesn't want to disturb the judges in their work and so is staying away) and so he isn't tweeting about the appeal of the NSCSO judicial review (New Support & Customer Services Organisation) which encompasses all sorts of services which you wouldn't instinctively think of, such as Human Resources, Finance, Revenues and Benefits (collection of Council Tax), Computing, Estates, Procurement and so on.

Mr Mustard doesn't want to let his readers down, and that includes those with a vested interest in the outcome, so here is a blog on the JR.

The big question is why the council want to shrug off immediate responsibility for these functions? This is what they said in the Full Business case in November 2012

The Council has already delivered a number of internal improvement and transformation initiatives for these services. It has, however, reached the limits of its ability to deliver further savings without significant cuts and reductions in service levels. Consequently, there is a need for a fundamentally different approach that will allow the Council’s strategic objectives to be delivered within the resources it has available.

So put simply the council, acting through the 10 councillors who make up the cabinet, layer upon layer of extremely well paid senior management, see the chart here, and five million quid a year spent on consultants from Agilisys and iMpower and other suppliers, the expertise within the council simply doesn't exist to manage the council into the future.

Mr Mustard could rewrite the reasons in the business case as follows;

We are over allowanced useless cabinet councillors who can't control the officers (senior management in plain English) who themselves are paid so much they think they are omnipotent but are in actual fact completely blөөdy useless and we are stuck with them. We've been told that Crapita are marvellous and can magically do everything we can't be bothered to try and do, and that any massive corporate failures by Crapita that we are told about are just the rantings of eccentric socialists who are in the pay of the unions, and it hasn't occurred to us that outsourcing the process doesn't outsource the problems but makes solutions much harder to implement when things do go wrong and will make it even harder to respond to changes in the services we are meant to provide. Some of us won't be standing for council again in 2014, because nobody loves us, and so by the time the shǃt hits the fan we will be long gone and can blame our successors for a failure to implement.

Q. What sort of council uses as a justification to outsource its own inability to carry out the functions that the councillors stood for office to run?
A. Barnet Council.

They should be ashamed, but aren't.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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