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CCT IN PERSONNEL COULD BE 'CATASTROPHIC'

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No more than 20% of councils' personnel services should be subjected to compulsory competitive tendering, the local...
No more than 20% of councils' personnel services should be subjected to compulsory competitive tendering, the local authority associations said last week.

The figure is contained in their response to a consultation paper on personnel CCT by KPMG, which claimed between 30% and 40% of personnel activities could be suitable for tendering.

The associations believe setting the percentage too high will force personnel services to become highly centralised, push up administration costs and harm links with existing suppliers.

'Moves towards decentralisation have been motivated by policy decisions about improving the effectiveness and responsiveness of service delivery, and have been encouraged by the Audit Commission and the government through initiatives such as local management of schools.

'The imposition of a relatively rigid regime such as CCT could have a catastrophic effect on the organisational viability of authorities.'

They claim 'there is little evidence of an existing market, and authorities could be put to considerable expense chasing competition that is simply not there. If the percentage requirement is set too high, authorities will be forced to consider larger-scale contract packages for which a market does not presently exist.'

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