10 reasons why we must
keep services in-house
UNISON outlines 10 points from its analysis
of the council plans that paint a worrying picture
that will hit taxpayers in the pocket now and
in the future. These include:-
1 No effort
being put into in-house options for service
improvement. The whole drive is towards privatisation
with no hard evidence of any benefits but plenty
of concerns about services and future costs.
2 The Council's
claims on savings are based on wishful thinking
and assertions rather than facts. The examples
from other authorities mostly show 'planned'
benefits rather than any evidenced results whereas
the real evidence shows things can get worse.
any of the 18 authorities used by the council
as 'comparable' are anything like Edinburgh.
Is Edinburgh really the same as South Tyneside,
England's smallest metropolitan borough?
of the comparators show no evidence of any benefits.
In fact Bedfordshire had to terminate its contract
because of poor performance, costing taxpayers
£6.75 million. In Somerset last year, the contractor
was fined for late filing of accounts and showed
losses of £2.5 million. In Barrow-in-Furness,
the Audit Commission inspection gave the outsourced
Benefits Service the lowest possible rating.
Redcar and Cleveland had to bring its contract
is no guarantee of jobs remaining in Edinburgh.
As well as the danger of the Council's front-line
contact centre possibly ending up somewhere
else, the effect on local economy of jobs leaving
the city would be disastrous at the very time
the city needs investment to build out of the
6 The council
has left key issues out of the tendering advert
like bidders having to comply with legal requirements
like the equalities duty, climate change etc,
in case it deters them from applying.
Commission research shows that up to 70% of
strategic partnerships in the private sector
fail with few meeting expectations.
Audit Commission also voices concerns about
the ability to respond to changes. Any organisation
which wins a contract will not be in a position
to respond flexibly to the changing priorities
of local government service delivery - without
of course asking for additional money to do
so! They will have the council over a barrel,
having to shell out or not deliver the service.
The size of these contracts will make the companies,
like the banks, 'too big to fail'.
9 The council
has not followed the Office of Government Commerce
advice to produce an Outline Business Case or
full options appraisal. 10 Failure to learn
the lessons of the social care tender. The new
'Remedies Directive' means that any future procurement
breach could be catastrophic for the council.