Barnet councillors challenge Capita outsourcing deal

Barnet Council’s Labour opposition will lead a challenge to the council cabinet’s decision to sign a ten-year £320m outsourcing deal with Capita

Barnet Council’s Labour opposition will lead a challenge to the council cabinet’s decision to sign a ten-year £320m back-office outsourcing deal with Capita.

Councillors will challenge Barnet Council cabinet's outsourcing decision in a scrutiny committee next week.

Councillor Alison Moore, leader of Barnet Council’s Labour party, said there were widespread concerns among councillors about Barnet Council's outsourcing deal. 

“We will be challenging the decision next week at a scrutiny committee,” said Moore. 

Moore said councillors from a number of political parties have concerns about the One Barnet outsourcing deal.

Capita was named preferred bidder for the outsourcing contract for Barnet Council last month. The outsourcing tender covered functions such as human resources (HR) and payroll as part of the £1bn One Barnet programme to outsource council services.

If the One Barnet outsourcing deal goes ahead, over 500 jobs will transfer to Capita. Capita will move 203 posts outside Barnet in eight months and axe 45 jobs.

By the end of the outsourcing contract in 2023, 147 of the 515 posts will be held by people working under contract to Capita in the London borough. Another 192 Capita staff will run Barnet's back-office from shared service centres.

Since Capita was named preferred bidder, councillors have scrutinised the savings and performance promised in the One Barnet outsourcing deal.

The contract has been controversial, and council leader, Conservative Richard Cornelius, survived a confidence vote over the issue in early November with the support of 32 councillors, while 24 voted against him. Three councillors did not vote and four were absent.

The confidence vote victory strengthened the cabinet’s hand. In contrast, a large outsourcing contract planned at Cornwall Council was put on the back burner after leader Alec Robertson lost a confidence vote over the outsourcing controversy.


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