Options Appraisals

Critical analysis of options appraisals.

  • Barnet Education & Skills and Catering Update

    Calls for the development of an in-house option and a Service Improvement Plan and examines the implications of the three options considered by the Council, namely a schools-led company/social enterprise, a joint venture company between the Council and a private contractor, or a JVC between the Council, schools and a private contractor.

  • Adult Social Care stays in-house but Barnet reverts to outsourcing

    London Borough of Barnet Council recently decided to retain the Adult Social Care service in-house. That policy reversal did not last long. The Street Scene options appraisal (waste collection, recycling, street cleaning, grounds maintenance and fleet management) includes a designed to fail ‘in-house (pre December 2015)’ option. It is now examining options involving Local Authority Trading Company, outsourcing and shared services options. This report exposes the risks and flaws in this approach.

  • Barnet Street Scene returns to full in-house provision

    Barnet Council Environment Committee examined various options for  the future of Street Scene in September 2016. Barnet UNISON was highly critical of the options appraisal and recommended the full in-house provision and rejection of continued management by Barnet Group and outsourcing. The Committee recommended a further report on the in-house option. Subsequently, a report to the Committee May 2017 recommended "the Street Scene Delivery Unit services including; recycling and waste, street cleansing, and green spaces maintenance (Lots 1-3) to revert to a full In–House service." This was later approved by the full Council.

  • Direct and Collateral Damage to Barnet Libraries

    Analysis of Barnet Council’s proposals for the Library Service – 46% job loss and 70% cut in hours. 72% of library opening hours will be unstaffed technology-enabled opening with 10% being volunteer-supported. Highlights widespread community opposition, flawed economics and the false claims made to justify the transfer or outsourcing of the Library Service.

  • Barnet Education & Skills and Catering: Analysis of Options Appraisal

    The options ‘appraisal’ recommends a Joint Venture Company (Capita is the Council’s main contractor and withdrew from managing the procurement so that it could bid). But the appraisal is based almost entirely on assumptions, estimates, possibilities and other vagaries. This report shows how the in-house bid was constructively dismissed by ignoring key risks, simplistic evaluation and unsubstantiated growth forecasts for the JVC model.

  • Barnet’s Future Library Service: Library Review No 2

    Barnet Council plan to cut Library workforce by nearly 50%, reduce staffed hours by 70%, four libraries will be run by volunteers, yet will spend £7.6m searching for a contractor. This report for Barnet UNISON examines the proposals at the start of a second public consultation.

  • The Future of Barnet Libraries

    The London Borough of Barnet has produced three options for the future of the library service – none include in-house provision. Deep cuts, heavy reliance on volunteering and an ‘open library’ project bring new risks and consequences for the service, users and staff.

  • Commercialising Dorset’s Adult Social Care Services: Critical analysis of the proposed Local Authority Trading Company for Dorset County UNISON

    Shows how Adult Social Care Services Options Appraisal is seriously flawed. A series of charts on quality, cost, governance, finance and acceptability to stakeholders illustrate how the in-house option and the interests of services users and staff are marginalised by the intent to create a commercialised trading company. It is not a genuine appraisal of options and appears to have been commissioned with a pre-determined outcome. Dorset CC used the same consultants as Barnet Council for its LATC, now in financial crisis with staff on strike.

  • Commercialising Education and Skills: Future Delivery of Services to Schools

    The London Borough of Barnet has commenced a new wave of outsourcing commencing with education and skills services to schools. This analysis of the Councils options appraisal for Barnet UNISON exposes how commercial values and market ideology have been used to reject an in-house option. It is highly probable that the sector will perceive that Capita’s two large contracts with Barnet Council give it an unfair advantage. It could lead to the Council failing to obtain value for money and Capita charging premium contract rates.

  • Critique of Options Appraisal for Adult Social Care In-House Services

    The Adult Services option appraisal is limited in scope and depth of analysis and does not provide an acceptable evidence base on which to make fundamental decisions about the future provision of the services. The critique concluded that the options appraisal process is operating to a predetermined agenda, it is not comprehensive, nor in sufficient detail to examine the impact and consequences of the options (August, 2010).

  • CSO/NSO Options Appraisal: Trade Union Response

    A critical assessment of the options appraisal which recommends the outsourcing of a new Customer Services Organisation (centralising all user access with the Council) and a New Support Organisation (finance, human resources, revenue & benefits, IT, procurement and property). Identifies eleven key risks if the Council proceeds with a strategic partnership (February, 2011).

  • Draft Protocol: Service Review, Options Appraisal and Procurement between London Borough of Barnet and UNISON, GMB, NUT and NASUWT

    Covers general principles and policy background, engagement in service reviews and options appraisals, access to information and workforce issues (January 2010).

  • 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.

  • Future of Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium: Implications for Future Shape

    A response to the Council's proposal for Future Shape ‘quick win’ to commence procurement of a partnership for Cemeteries and crematoria, based on a options appraisal undertaken by a Capita subsidiary. The report demonstrated that the options appraisal had serious flaws. The proposal was withdrawn at Cabinet and a new options appraisal process launched to include an in-house option and consultation with trade unions (April 2009).

  • The Economic Case for In-House Options and Bids

    Sets out a 12 point economic case for in-house options and bids. Prepared for Barnet UNISON where the Council is refusing to consider even in-house options as part of its Future Shape programme (2010).