Friday, 23 March 2012

The New Support and Customer Services Organisation: (some of) your questions answered

Mr Mustard has procured a copy of the questions Barnet Council thinks staff would like answered about one of the big outsourcing contracts it is offering: the £750 million contract for a New Support and Customer Services Organisation (NSCSO).

The NSCSO will eventually run things such as Benefits and Revenues for the council, and answer the phone to all residents' enquiries. There is no obligation on the two remaining candidates bidding for the contract - BT and Capita - to run the service from Barnet. Basically, we are looking at a big call centre somewhere. If the thought of this fills you with dismay... too bad!

The most mendacious Q&A you will find in the document is:
Q. The staff have been informed of the council’s intentions very well [sic], but have the community/residents of Barnet been informed equally well?

A. Residents are consulted annually via the council’s budget consultation process, see
Mr Mustard comments:
Citizens have not been consulted on One Barnet. The topic is banned at Residents' Forums.
The answers to staff are not likely to cheer them up either. There are no guarantees on their pay, their employment conditions or even on whether or not they will keep their jobs once council services are run by Capita or BT.

And let's remind ourselves, while we are about it, what these big multinational corporations get out of the bargain: profits from our taxes.

Mr Mustard's excellent blogpost on all of this is here.

Have a good weekend.

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