ESSU Research Paper No 1: A Typology of Privatisation and Marketisation by Dexter Whitfield

A paper setting out a four part typology of privatisation and marketisation. The typology provides examples and explanation of the different types of privatisation and marketisation; methods; political, social and economic objectives; and the impact on the state and public services. The different forms of privatisation and marketisation do not take place in isolation. They are part of a broader restructuring of the state in the interests of capital. The paper sets out a four-part typology of privatisation and marketisation of public services providing a examples of each: Marketisation of global public goods; Marketisation and privatisation of assets and services; Privatisation of governance and democracy; and Privatisation of the public domain

Options Appraisal Opposes Outsourcing and Offshoring of Prescription Pricing Division, NHS Business Services Authority

ESSU was commissioned by UNISON Northern to prepare a detailed report on a PPD/KPMG proposal to outsource and offshore prescription processing. This comprehensive report examines value for money, risk assessment, insourcing trends, public cost analysis and other issues. A decision to outsource was expected in November 2006 but has been postponed indefinitly following intervention by the Health Minister.

The Prescription Pricing Division (PPD) of the NHS Business Services Authority is responsible for the processing and payment of prescriptions from GPs and 10,000 pharmacists. It provides an important financial, prescribing and drug information service to over 35,000 prescribers in England; the help with health costs service to over 5m patients annually and operates the European Health Insurance Card. The PPD processes 755m items on NHS prescriptions annually which have a direct bearing on the £8 billion NHS drugs bill.

Revised Employment Risk Matrix

The European Services Strategy Unit has devised an Employment Risk Matrix which assesses the degree of changes in four categories of risk. The four categories considered are: Risk of changes to terms and conditions of service; Pensions arrangements (not covered by TUPE regulations); Risk of changes to staff consultation and representation; and Risk of problems with secondment agreement.

North Tyneside – A Commissioning Council? Evidence Base for the Alternative Plan

In June 2006 North Tyneside Council published an edited version of a Business Transformation Plan prepared by management consultants KPMG in conjunction with Council officers. Local government trade unions in North Tyneside (including teacher unions) commissioned this report from the European Services Strategy Unit to assess the Council’s transformation plan and to provide an evidence base to support their opposition to this plan.

The Council has a target of £50m efficiencies from the transformation plan over the next four years. However, the KPMG report identified a potential list of £84.5m efficiencies. The Council is also negotiating with the Department of Education and Skills to become the first local authority to transfer all its schools to a £100m Trust with local education services. The 85 page report covers the proposed efficiency savings, a Transformation Plan or Blueprint for Business, the consequences of the Council’s plan, outsourcing and privatising Council services, the impact on jobs, assessing the impact of transformation, the Trust model, insourcing trends, why in-house bids are essential and the advantages of in-house provision and the Alternative Plan.

Yorkshire & Humber Regional Centre of Excellence: Shared Services Seminar

Yorkshire & Humber Regional Centre of Excellence: Shared Services Seminar – Dexter Whitfield presented research and strategic policy issues on strategic partnerships and shared services projects to chief executives and senior officers from local authorities in the region in September 2006.

Financing Infrastructure in the 21st Century

A paper on Financing Infrastructure in the 21st Century: The Long Term Impact of Public Private Partnerships in Britain and Australia was presented by Dexter Whitfield to senior public sector managers, PPP advisers and trade unions in Adelaide, Australia in July 2006. It was organised and funded by the Don Dunstan Foundation, Australian Institute for Social Research, University of Adelaide, Australia.

Analysis of Strategic Services Partnership proposals for Southampton UNISON

Analysis of Strategic Services Partnership proposals for Southampton City UNISON. The ESSU has undertaken an analysis of proposals for a Strategic Services Partnership in Southampton which examined the implications for services and staff and proposed an alternative strategy. It assessed standard and variant bid proposals for ICT and related services and employment models. The following year it assessed how the contract was awarded to Capita plc.

Leisure Trust Failure: Alternative Option for East Hertfordshire District Council

East Hertfordshire’s Leisure Services contract with Enfield Leisure Centres Ltd (Aspire Trust) has a major financial crisis. It is £500,000 in the red in the first year of a five-year contract. Resignations of senior staff and the possible liquidation of the Enfield Trust add to the scale of the crisis – a crisis in the making during the evaluation of the market testing bids in 2005.

Despite the Enfield Trust bid being based on an 8% increase in leisure income and a 10% cut in staffing costs, they were awarded the contract. But the contract was not signed until five months after staff were transferred and large sections on monitoring and staffing issues were removed. From attempting to achieve a saving of £975,000 over five years the Council saved a little over £50,000 in the first year. It is now faced with additional estimated costs of £903,560 over five years based on the 2005/06 budget. The parent trust, Enfield Leisure Trust, went into liquidationin September 2006 and East Herts were forced to transfer lesiure services to Stevenage Leisure Trust (Commissioned by East Hertfordshire UNISON, 2006).

Aberdeen Futures: Whose Community Planning?

New Report: Aberdeen TGWU ACTS Branch commissioned the European Services Strategy Unit to undertake a critical evaluation of Aberdeen Futures and the city’s community planning participation framework. The objective was to assess the extent to which the scope of participation had resulted in a shift of power in the decision making process and to identify the extent to which Aberdeen Futures has involved trade unions and community organisations in its activities.

The study examined the structure of the community planning framework – The Aberdeen City Alliance (TACA), the Challenge Forums, Aberdeen Civic Forum and the City Assembly. Most of the interviewees reported that there had been no shift or re-alignment of power in the city to community organisations.

Trade unions have no formal representation on the Alliance, the Civic Forum or the Challenge Forums. Trade unions failed to challenge exclusion from community planning organisations. Yet the City Council’s 10,000 employees are also service users, as are the many thousands of other trade unionists in the public and private sector in Aberdeen. They have the right, like all citizens, to be represented and organised in the community and at work and by more than one organisation. The city’s trade unions also have an analysis and views about the causes of current problems and ideas and policies to enhance Aberdeen’s economy.

The report recommended that the TGWU should, possibly in cooperation with other public sector trade unions, set up a working group to map out a trade union perspective on the city’s community planning process and recommend appropriate strategies. If the City Council, TACA and the Civic Forum are not responsive to trade union involvement then the TGWU should consider establishing a Commission to draw together a trade union perspective and policy agenda and/or establish a Public Service Alliance, a city-wide coalition of trade unions and community organisations. Download the report.

Hard copies can be obtained from: TGWU 7/48/28 Local Government Branch, 42/44 King Street, Aberdeen AB9 2TJ, Scotland, Tel: 0845 345 0140.

New BOOK: New Labour’s Attack on Public Services

New Labour is creating markets in public services on an unprecedented scale. Education, health and social care, children’s services, housing, planning and regeneration, the criminal justice system and the welfare state are all being marketised. Contents: How neoliberalism drives marketisation – How markets operate – Typology of privatisation and marketisation – The five-stage marketisation process – Public costs – The impact of market failure – Why public provision is essential – Alternative modernisation strategy – Strategies to oppose marketisation – Lessons for Europe. Spokesman Books, April 2006, £11.99 (bulk rates available).