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Barnet signs major outsourcing deals

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Barnet LBC has signed two major contracts worth nearly £500m with the outsourcing firm Capita, after winning a long-running legal battle over its One Barnet programme.

The authority has agreed to a ten-year deal worth £350m in which Capita Business Services will run its back-office services, and a separate £130m ten-year deal in which Barnet’s development and regulatory services – including strategic planning, transport and environmental health – will be run by Capita Symonds in a partnership with the authority.

Barnet claims the contracts will save taxpayers £126m over the next decade.

However, the campaign group Barnet Alliance for Public Services led a fight against the programme, backing a judicial review which was brought by local resident Maria Nash.

The group says One Barnet will result in jobs being lost in the borough and vulnerable residents being hit as services are scaled back.

Last week, Court of Appeal judges rejected an appeal against a High Court ruling in April that meant the contracts could go ahead.

The £350m contract for back-office services, known as the New Support and Customer Services Organisation (NSCSO) contract, will begin on 1st September.

The £130m deal on development and regulatory services will begin on 1st October.

Barnet LBC had originally hoped to start the contracts in April and July respectively, but the legal challenges have delayed their implementation.

Barnet leader Richard Cornelius (Con) said: “I’m delighted with the judges’ decision.

“We can all now get on with making the huge savings in our back office costs which we need to do if we are to continue protecting our frontline services. Nobody has stepped forward to propose either cuts in services or increased taxes as an alternative to this programme.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Just how much detail is available for public scrutiny and how much of the risks and dangers are interred in 'commercial in confidence'. Ten years contract is just plain stupid - for the contractor it is a licence to print money.

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