Mr Mustard doesn't plan to enter the cheese rolling competition preferring to buy his at Waitrose. The first prize is the cheese weighing 6 or 7lb, the second prize is £10 and the third prize is £5. Lots of info here.
Some large companies have entered for the One Barnet £1bn competition but the course is starting to look a little steep and entrants are starting to worry about damaged reputations and if the prize is worth the candle. On that topic Mr Mustard has a message for you, BT, Capita and EC Harris (no-one else left in the running is there?) that he will be checking your invoices every single month for the entire life of the contract. He will be vetting every single item, doubtless as a double act with Mr Reasonable, and making sure that the client side at Barnet Council do the jobs they are paid for and penalise every single contract breach. You will probably wish you had never bid and won. Stop and think now before you go on. Also remember how incompetent Barnet Council are and how what you supply will be that much more difficult to achieve than what a well run council can manage.
These contracts are complex and Barnet Council haven't even managed to stick to timetable despite being overrun with supposed expert (definitely expensive) consultants to do all the hard work whilst the senior officers struggle on at the same time with business as usual and don't manage to do either properly.
Here is a recent message from Craig Cooper, the
unCommercial Director (sorry Craig I have been a bit slow getting this one into print, had other more pressing items to deal with, bloggers have to prioritise as well you know)
From: Barbour, Helen - On Behalf Of Cooper, Craig
Sent: 21 June 2012 - 12:39
Subject: New Support and Customer Services Organisation (NSCSO) and Development and Regulatory Services (DRS) Project Timescales
As you will have read already in the fortnightly messages, the project teams have been working hard to finalise the NSCSO and DRS project timetables to make sure that both of these projects run smoothly in the final stages of transfer and that they don't both go live on the same day.
We have now had approval from Council Directors' Group on the new project timings and I would like to update you on what this means for you.
We have tried to set a realistic timetable with some level of flexibility and contingency built in which means we are confident we can work within these timescales. We have planned both projects to allow enough time for a thorough evaluation and a 12-week mobilisation period, to ensure a smooth handover to the new providers. Although the two mobilisation periods will overlap, we have agreed that NSCSO will go live slightly before DRS.
Here is the timetable for awarding the contract to the new provider, the mobilisation period and the final transfer date:
Week beginning 28 November meeting papers for Cabinet Resources Committee, with a recommendation of the preferred bidder for NSCSO, will be published on the council website. This means you will know who the evaluation team are recommending as the new provider. There will be staff briefings on the preferred bidder recommendation during this week.
Week beginning 6 December 2012 Cabinet Resources Committee will make the final decision on the new provider for NSCSO.
Week beginning 12 December 2012 the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet and following this, the letter to bidders informing them of the decision will be issued.
Week beginning 8 January 2013 mobilisation of staff will begin. This will include three-way meetings where the new provider will consult the unions on their proposed measures, staff briefings and one-to-one meetings with the new provider. We will tell you more about what the mobilisation period will entail at staff briefings in the autumn.
Week beginning 1 April 2013 all in-scope staff will transfer to the new provider
Week beginning 7 January 2013 meeting papers for Cabinet Resources Committee, with a recommendation of the preferred bidder for DRS, will be published on the council website. This means you will know who the evaluation team are recommending as the new provider. There will be staff briefings on the preferred bidder recommendation during this week.
Week beginning 14 January 2013 Cabinet Resources Committee will make the final decision on the new provider for DRS.
Week beginning 21 January 2013 the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet and following this the letter to bidders informing them of the decision will be issued.
Week beginning 11 February 2013 mobilisation with staff will begin. This will include three-way meetings where the new provider will consult the unions on their proposed measures, staff briefings and one-to-one meetings with the new provider. We will tell you more about what the mobilisation period will entail at staff briefings in the autumn.
Week beginning 6 May 2013 in-scope staff will transfer to the new provider.
I hope that having some more clarity on the timescales is useful. We will continue to tell you as much as we can as early as we can, but I do appreciate that this is a period of uncertainty which can be extremely difficult for staff. As we get closer to the decision on the new providers, and to transfer, we will remind you of the key dates above and will continue to communicate with you through the email updates, staff group, staff briefings and the intranet.
If you do have any questions about the timescales, or anything else regarding the NSCSO or DRS projects, please send an email to email@example.com or speak to your manager or staff group representative.
I would also recommend all staff to attend one of the TUPE workshops and the Change and Me Workshop, if you haven't already done so.
Director of Commercial Services
London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP
Tel: 020 8359 7082
Mobile: 07979 973042
So the Commercial Director is pressing on with the bonkers idea of outsourcing two major chunks of work at more or less the same time instead of trying one and sitting back for 6 months to see how it goes before outsourcing the other chunk and also signing up for 10 years which will make getting out very hard (without paying a huge sum of money).
What Craig doesn't mention in his email is the horrific slippage that has occurred in the timetable. Let us go back to a chart which was produced in October 2010
This chart is part of a short report which cost £19,000 and you can see that mobilisation should have happened 6 months ago and will be at least a year behind. As Mr Reasonable has just pointed out that just means more fees for consultants.
Perhaps the officers don't know what they are doing.
Perhaps the expert consultants aren't so expert after all.
Perhaps the councillors don't have a grip on officers and what they are doing(no perhaps needed)
Perhaps we need to call a halt and get someone independent in to do a thorough cost-benefit analysis and see if any money is really going to be saved. Take a look at what has just happened in Bournemouth, 35% of the projected saving has been removed. In Barnet the savings are all lovely projections, will they come to pass? Mr Mustard doubts it.
Come on councillors, start poking in all the dark corners and challenging all of the figures. Apply some rigorous scrutiny before it is too late.