DEMOCRACY: The Board Game

A new game for a new era – with a different view on issues such as human rights, climate change and globalisation. In DEMOCRACY traditional game play is reversed. Instead of one person playing to take control of everything, everyone else must work to defeat the one person who is trying to take all the power. €30.00 plus p+p. Order online.

New Expanded Edition of PPP Database on Strategic Service-delivery Partnerships

The new expanded edition covers 43 contracts with a total value of £8.6bn and employing over 17,500 staff plus several large highway services and waste contracts. The Database reveals that BT, Capita and Mouchel dominate the rankings with a 61.9% market share by contract value. Six of the ten companies are foreign owned and have a 32.0% market share by contract value. 12 local authorities have commenced procurement but then rejected an SSP for various financial and operational reasons (see Table 8). The failure rate, based on 40 contracts and 5 failures, is 12.5% (see Table 9). Also includes evidence of problems in several other SSP contracts.

Easy-Council ‘no frills’ Planning Privatisation report exposed

The London Borough of Barnet Council commissioned Impower/Agilysis to deliver an options appraisal for the future provision of Planning, Building Control, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and other Regulatory Services. They recommended “The market option most likely to deliver the improvement and price changes needed is a strategic partnership with the private sector.” They also recommended expanding the Development and Public Health Services Project to include Regeneration, Highways and Transport Planning. Barnet UNISON commissioned this detailed critique of the consultants report which concluded that the options appraisal contained many sweeping assumptions, lacked empirical evidence and market analysis and failed to meet even the basic scope and quality standards expected of an appraisal.

Revised Employment Risk Matrix

A revised edition of the ESSU Employment Risk Matrix has been published comparing the risks of the Secondment, TUPE Plus and TUPE employment models. It covers changes to terms and conditions, pensions and staff consultation and representation. 84% of the risk for employees in a TUPE transfer are in the high and medium risk categories compared with only 8% for a TUPE Plus transfer and none for secondment.

University of Leeds Economic Impact Study

Commissioned by the University and College Union (UCU) and UNISON, the study estimates that the University’s proposed 35m pound budget cut by the beginning of the 2010/11 academic year will result in between 625-700 university job losses and a total UK loss of 1,187-1,330 jobs. It concludes that “a ‘world class university’ is also one that gives much greater attention to its economic and social impact on the neighbourhoods in which it is located and its role in the city and regional economy.”

UNISON Barnet: Future Shape of the Council Programme – Briefing No. 7, The impact and performance of management buyouts, social enterprises and mutual models

There is renewed interest in management buy-outs (MBOs), social enterprises, the ‘John Lewis’ model and other mutual forms of ownership as an alternative to outsourcing or ‘partnerships’ with private contractors. The Briefing draws on historic and recent evidence. These options transfer a service from the public to the private sector and is thus privatisation. The form of private ownership, for example whether it is a public or private company, a cooperative, mutual, social enterprise or some other non-profit organisational model is a secondary matter. The fact of the matter is that the ownership of assets and employer responsibilities will transfer to the private or voluntary/third sector. A procurement process will still be required, irrespective of an MBO or social enterprise option. However, the MBO/social enterprise option effectively means that there will be NO in-house bid.