The Database now covers 48 strategic partnerships and has been expanded with more analysis of operational contracts, a new Strategic Partnership Performance Ratio, and new tables on community trusts in strategic partnerships and contractor performance.
Analysis of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets approach to procurement of a strategic partnership for ICT and corporate services, employing 615 staff. Reveals that there was no evidence of an options or business case prior to the start of procurement. Highlights the limitations of strategic partnerships and the potential impact on the local economy if services are located elsewhere. Proposes an alternative approach to service improvement.
The London Borough of Barnet is considering terminating a 15 year leisure services contract. This is a story of mismanagement of a single service contract that again exposes the high-risk strategy and assumptions proposed by the One Barnet model. Meanwhile, the Council is at the procurement stage of several multi- service, multi-million pound, long-term contracts that are up to 50 times the value of the leisure contract!
The planned outsourcing of Fire Service training and Fire Control services could result in the fracturing of Fire and Emergency services in London. A report for the FBU, UNISON and GMB exposes the threat to the fire and rescue service by outsourcing fire service training and the Fire Control service. New high risks will be imposed on fire service, potential discrimination in the treatment of staff, and a flawed procurement process driven by political dogma.
Following detailed evidence of Private Finance Initiative equity profiteering and the transfer of assets to tax havens submitted by Dexter Whitfield, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has recommended gain sharing in new and existing PFI projects (1 September 2011). The Committee called for the Treasury to measure tax revenue from PFI deals and ensure this is taken into account in project assessments. It recommended Freedom of Information be extended to private companies delivering public services. An earlier report by the House of Commons Treasury Committee (August 2011) also included the PFI profits evidence, and was highly critical of the cost of PFI, off-balance sheeting financing and value for money assessments.
PAC report and evidence:
Treasury Committee: Vol. 1: Report and Minutes
Vol. 2 Additional Written Evidence
This 2004 report by the Centre for Public Services has been reprinted in a new book, ‘Social Services’, by Li Bing, PH.D. Vice Professor, the Department of Sociology, Beijing Administrative College. The Chinese version can be downloaded (the English version in our publications section). The report examines the implementation of the previous government’s modernisation agenda for public sector reform and gives a voice to social care professionals at the frontline of service delivery and modernisation. It gives their impressions of how the key aspects of the government’s agenda were being implemented on the ground and shows how it undermined service quality and the welfare state.
Microsoft Word Document 社会服务现代化.doc
Dexter Whitfield has received the 2011 Social Policy Association Award for Outstanding Contribution from a Non-Academic. The award “celebrates his work in campaigning, research and advocacy for fairer UK state services over 40 years and, in particular, his defence of welfare services against privatisation and marketisation”. Accepting the award, Dexter Whitfield commented “I have always believed in the importance of a methodology that combines action research, strategy development, alternative policies and trade union and community organising. The need for this four-part methodology is greater than ever given the economic and financial crisis and the planned transformation of public services and the welfare state.”
The Social Policy Association promotes the study of social policy and advances the role of social policy research within policy making, practice and wider public debates. The majority of the Association’s members are teachers and researchers in social policy and applied social science within UK higher education, complemented by a significant and growing number of members from other European, Asian and Australasian countries.
The vast profits being made by contractors and banks selling equity in PFI project companies was exposed by the BBC File on 4 programme on 13 June. The programme was based on The £10bn Sale of Shares in PPP Companies: New source of profits for builders and banks, and earlier evidence in Global Auction of Public Assets by Dexter Whitfield. BBC Podcast: PFI Profits File on 4, 14 June 2011 – 38 mins BBC Press Release: HM Treasury ‘in dark’ over ‘excessive’ PFI profits
Financial Times, 20 June 2011: PFI projects switched to tax havens, report claims
Daily Mail, 15 June 2011: £2bn secret profits on PFI gravy train: Public-sector projects are massive money spinner
Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2011: £2bn profit for companies selling debt on public projects
Tax Justice Network, 15 June 2011: BBC explains tax scam in UK’s Private Finance Initiative
Left Foot Forward, 15 June 2011: Democratic erosion, profiteering and tax havens: PFI equity sales exposed by Dexter Whitfield.
Open Democracy, 22 June 2011: PFI transferring billions from UK taxpayers to private financiers
An article in Local Government Chronicle, 9 June 2011, by Dexter Whitfield, describes commissioning as a wolf in sheep’s clothing because it will lead to private monopoly, commercialised services, agendas dominated by the vested interests of private contractors and little transparency. Sets out an alternative approach.
The London Borough of Barnet plans to transfer Adult Services to a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) together with Barnet Homes, the Arms Length Management Organisation managing the council housing stock. About 160 Adult Services staff will transfer to the LATC. The LATC model is intended to commercialise Barnet’s provision of learning disability and physical and sensory impairment services for adults. The business case refers to ‘profits’ and the Council using its power as shareholder to demand annual ‘dividends’. Rather than subsidising important social and housing services, these services will in future subsidise other Council services!