Capita has been selected as the "preferred bidder" for a 10-year, £320 million business services outsourcing contract from the London Borough of Barnet.
The contract, to operate the council’s new support and customer service organisation, is the largest component of its controversial One Barnet scheme, a £1 billion privatisation programme.
"If approved by Cabinet, Capita will run a range of services including the council’s call centre, payroll, information technology and HR," Barnet said in a press release. "The contract will be for a ten year period with a guaranteed saving over that time of over £120 million."
"Capita will also make an up front investment of £8 million in improving the delivery of these services," it explained. "This investment will provide improved information technology and telephone support, and offer every resident a single ‘Amazon’ style account with the council that they can use to link a range of council services, from parking permits to allotment fees."
Other benefits the council believes the Capita bid will deliver include : improved management information for councillors; "more sophisticated analysis of the information gathered by the Council, allowing for a more detailed understanding of the needs of [residents]"; and "a web-based Schools Portal to enable them to access information and use systems directly themselves".
In all, 512 jobs at the council will be moved to Capita. In the first few years of the contract, Capita will move 197 of those roles to delivery centres within the UK but outside the council. The total number of roles working on the contract will shrink to 468 over time.
Capita beat telco BT to win the preferred bidder nod. "The final tender submitted by BT did not score as highly as Capita’s," a report on the contract evaluation reveals. "Evaluation has shown, however, that it would acceptably deliver the Council’s stated requirements. It is, therefore, recommended that the BT tender is designated as a reserve bid, which the council may return to should it not be able to finalise contracts with Capita."
The £1 billion One Barnet privitisation scheme, which also includes a contract to provide ‘development and regulatory services’, has been met with fierce opposition. Earlier this month, Barnet Council’s leader Rich Cornelius survived a no-confidence vote