Privatisation and marketisation

  • The sorry tale of Deutsche Bahn

    A report for the Northern TUC, UNISON and UNITE into the safety and operational performance of Deutsche Bahn, currently one of two organisations processing through the final stages of competitive tendering to run Tyne and Wear Metro services for Nexus, the Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Authority, the other ‘bidder’ being an in-house bid team.

  • Privatisation of London’s Fire Service Training and Control Centre Reversed

    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. In early 2012 the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) has reversed its decision to award a ten-year 999 Fire Control managed services contract to Capita plc. Instead the LFEPA will enter into a contract for a replacement mobilising system only. This means that the 120 control staff will remain employed by the Authority.

  • Profiting from rough sleepers Social Impact Bond

    ESSU Briefing raises critical issues for non-profits engaging in core state functions. The London Homelessness Social Impact Bond (SIB) was designed to reduce rough sleeping, but led to two charities to work in partnership with Home Office agencies to ‘reconnect’ non-UK nationals by voluntary repatriation, administrative removal or deportation. Identified eight critical issues for non-profit organisations engaging in any SIB or other similar projects.

  • Commissioning and Procurement Toolkit for Local Government and Health

    New Commissioning and Procurement Toolkit for UNISON Northern (April 2008). It is divided into 11 parts covering: The Political Economy of Commissioning and Procurement, Developing a Branch strategy, Reviewing Services, Efficiency reviews, Shared Services Projects, Options Appraisal, The case for in-house provision, Capital works and BSF/PFI/PPP projects, Procurement and commissioning process, Protecting jobs, terms and conditions and Community and social benefits from procurement.

  • East Herts Leisure Trust Failure

    East Hertfordshire’s Leisure Services contract with Enfield Leisure Centres Ltd (Aspire Trust) had a major financial crisis in the first year of operation. 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. This report shows that the attempt to save £975,000 the Council 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 liquidation in September 2006 and East Herts were forced to transfer leisure services to Stevenage Leisure Trust (Commissioned by East Hertfordshire UNISON, 2006).

  • Future Shape of the Council: The Flaws in Barnet’s Commissioning and Procurement Policy

    A review of the London Borough of Barnet Council’s commissioning and procurement policies. The Future Shape of the Council project is likely to consider large-scale outsourcing/privatisation to ‘shrink the council’, yet there are serious failings and shortcomings in procurement which make its policies and practice ‘not fit for purpose’. This could expose the Council to serious financial and service risks. The report is published by UNISON, GMB, NUT and NASUWT and makes a series of recommendations on commissioning and procurement, employment options and contract management and monitoring.

  • Failure to Assess Options for Future Shape of the Council

    A critique of the London Borough of Barnet proposals to radically change the responsibilities, role and functions of the Council for UNISON, GMB, NUT and NASUWT. It shows how the Council has failed to undertake options appraisal of proposals to create a Joint Venture Company and service delivery vehicles for all public services in the borough. It would create a new contract bureaucracy which would undermine the council’s successful city suburb plans; threaten jobs, terms and conditions and pensions; and is based on a flawed approach to achieve value for money. Download report. See series of six Briefings on the Future Shape programme.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • London Fire Brigade’s Protective Equipment Group retained in-house

    The Protective Equipment Group (PEG) provides specialist equipment, expertise and services ranging from respiratory and chemical protection to high line and water rescue. It employs 35 staff and operates 24/7/365 for emergency services. The service was included in the retendering of the fleet maintenance contract (a 21 year contract awarded to Babcock International), but the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority decided to retain the PEG service in-house following a report by ESSU for UNISON LFEPA and an officer cost assessment report.

    LFEPA Response to UNISON report – FEP 2237A (27 March 2014) and LFEPA Report retaining PEG in-house FEP 2237 (27 March 2014) Procurement Process for the Authority’s Vehicles and Equipment Contract and the Protective Equipment Services.

  • New Forms of Privatization

    Keynote presentation by Dexter Whitfield at New Forms of Privatization: What they are and how to fight them international conference, Ottawa, Canada on 28-30 October 2014 organised by the National Union of Public and General Employees.

    Keynote presentation by Dexter Whitfield at New Forms of Privatization: What they are and how to fight them international conference, Ottawa, Canada on 28-30 October 2014 organised by the National Union of Public and General Employees.

  • Bradford’s Outsourcing Agenda, 2001

    Details the Council’s privatisation plans including the education strategic partnership, proposed transfer of the city's housing stock to local housing companies, private involvement in information and communications technology, asset management joint venture and the wider social and economic impact on some of the most deprived wards in Britain, for Bradford UNISON (32 pages).

  • Barnet: Shrinking the Council

    The London Borough of Barnet launched a Future Shape of the Council project to review the organisation of the Council. The European Services Strategy Unit (ESSU) has been commissioned by Barnet UNISON to provide research and critical analysis for the Branch in the consultation process. A series of Briefings can be downloaded: Assessment of Strategic Hub Proposals, Public Service Principles and Values, Employment Charter, Scope of Contract Reviews, Service Transformation and The 'Shrinking by Outsourcing Models: Implications for Staff.

    See Future Shape of the Council briefings in Transformation and Public Sector Reform