Cornwall Council Privatisation

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Marhak
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by Marhak » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:26 pm

According to Radio London (Cornwall branch) this morning, the petition against the Cabinet decision to overturn democacy re "outsourcing" has reached enough numbers to force a debate.

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3cornishchoughs
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by 3cornishchoughs » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:01 pm

Check out Cllr Jeremy Rowe's latest post regarding the vote of no confidence in the leader on 16 October and the continued bullying by 'chief emailer':

http://cllrjeremyrowe.wordpress.com/201 ... ence-vote/
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3cornishchoughs
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by 3cornishchoughs » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:05 pm

And remind yourself of the email that Jim Currie wrote about this concerns. The description of call-ins, Scrutiny and Single-Issue Panels is enough to make your head hurt:

http://lansonboy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09 ... il-on.html
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Marhak
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by Marhak » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:19 pm

In the Jeremy Rowe post, I have no problem identifying the Cabinet member featured in its last paragraphs. It's not the first time he's behaved this way.

TelReed
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by TelReed » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:54 am

The text below is a reprint of a letter to the editor I sent to the West Briton relating to the Shared Services (Privatisation) Outsourcing Bid and which was published on Thurs Sept 27th in the West Briton:

Reprint from a Letter to the Editor,
West Briton newspaper, September 27th, 2012.
Points about the Cornwall Council Shared Services Outsourcing Bid

I am the managing director and senior consultant for an IT/ telecoms consultancy based near Helston. I was also previously a senior executive of the second largest multinational in the world, responsible for IT and telecoms procurement across Europe and involved in the outsourcing of a European computer centre and IT services, which eventually went to CSC and was based in the UK.
One issue for me is the statement by Councillor Neil Burden justifying the £1,000 per day being paid to a former BT executive working on the project on behalf of the council. The justification is that he is one of only three or four people in the country capable of doing this job. In that case, I must be one of the three or four people. There have to be dozens of people who could oversee the bid and understand the outsourcing business - and for less than £1,000 per day. Further, the council's chief executive and this other individual have both recently been executives of BT. This has an uncomfortable feel about it. It may not be a conflict of interest - but it feels like it to me. I understand four potential suppliers were invited to bid (I would probably have invited five), but two dropped out. Why? Because they knew they couldn't make the savings, or because they thought they wouldn't win due to the perceived conflict of interest of those running the bid process? The statement by Mr Burden that CSC is bidding because it wants a base in Europe is totally untrue. CSC already have their European HQ in Aldershot and a large computer centre in Kingswood, Bristol (outsourced to CSC) as well as elsewhere in the UK and Europe. I've heard figures bandied about that the project is worth between £300 million and £800 million. That's a wide range - and probably reflects the fact that it depends on how many services are outsourced. I can't see either BT or CSC being able to run the libraries or the onestop shops - only the back-office IT and telecoms stuff.
Let's assume it's £300 million over a ten-year contract (in my view far too long a term) and they say they are going to save £5 million every year. This means the services being outsourced are currently costing £35 million a year. Most of these outsourcing companies win bids by offering an initial saving of "cost minus 20 per cent", but usually make their money towards the end of the contract by dramatically increasing their charges with subtle clauses they have built into the contract. Understanding the small print is vital to ensure there are no unexpected nasty cost increases. I also read that this deal will provide 500 new jobs. I think you will find 500 jobs will be transferred to BT or CSC (under TUPE rules, meaning at the same salaries and terms and conditions, for a while at least), so 500 jobs (I've even heard it might be 1,000) will be lost from the public sector and transferred to the private sector. Once past the TUPE minimum staff retention timescales a lot of those will go offshore to places like Bangalore and the original council staff could be made redundant.
Sixty per cent of outsourced projects do not deliver the savings or the benefits promised. There is already a dispute regarding the project called South West One between IBM Global Services (the outsourcer) and Somerset Council.
There's a lot more I could say, but the point is this. Unless you have very experienced people to manage the bid process, who understand the contractual obligations fully and are able to oversee the implementation, Cornwall Council could have a disaster on its hands.
With a decision being made in November, I would urge the Cabinet or full council to have an assessment made by a completely independent, experienced consultant who has no allegiance to any supplier. A far-reaching decision is about to be made, so it is imperative - because they owe it to the people of Cornwall who will be affected - that they get it right.

TERRY REED
Martel Associates Ltd
Helford

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3cornishchoughs
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by 3cornishchoughs » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:15 pm

Great letter and really heartening to read a perspective from someone who understands the technicalities and legalities that can lead a deal/project to fail or succeed.

Most of my chagrin comes from the lack of transparency, the wild figures and the bravado that comes with senior officials assuming that if the 'information' they have been given by their chums in industry is good enough for them, it is good enough for anyone else.

Last week George Eustace in his column in The Cornishman was saying such approaches to Shared Services are a fact of life and people shouldn't complain. In an article this week he said he welcomed the debate. It's part of the same bravado that assumes the kind of details you raise in your letter are not important, when they are the most important things to understand.

I dread to think what a BT library would be like. They couldn't even identify a physical fault with our telephone line for weeks and blamed it on a lack of engineering staff.
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Morgawr
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by Morgawr » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:38 pm

It was reading last week's West Briton that flagged this issue up for me, as I imagine it did for a lot of folk who don't always have the time to follow the machinations of local government. This forum was the only place I next found that was even discussing the issue, save for some excellent articles in Computer Weekly, which seems to have tracked the outsourcing debacle.
For residents of Cornwall, this is too important to be slipped under the radar. Short of having a referendum (which they would probably ignore!) I am pleased that the petition has triggered a debate, hopefully. Not all of my Golden Girl pals are on the internet, so rely on the local press to keep them informed. Goodness knows how these pensioners are going to access council services if everthing goes online and is outsourced to Mars and beyond!

Thanks to all of you who have kept this debate live. And well done to the people who took the paper version of the petition round to those without computers. There are more than is realized. They should have a voice too.

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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by Morgawr » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:10 pm

On the glossy website of the lobbyists for Computer Sciences Corporation, they say:

"The potential for localism to impede private sector infrastructure investment is a key concern."

Oh dear, those pesky locals! Heaven forfend that we should care about our local services...
Let us hope that our new Council leader, whomsoever that might be by the end of the day, will put service before profit.

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3cornishchoughs
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by 3cornishchoughs » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:42 pm

They won't say which firm it is (imagine! Still keeping secrets) but one firm has pulled out of the tender process for "Shared Services":

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-19975343
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by 3cornishchoughs » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:56 pm

CSC pulled out. BT the only company in the running and gave their presentation today:

http://www.cllrandrewwallis.co.uk/share ... mbling-on/

Is Lavery still involved with BT?
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TeamKernow
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by TeamKernow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:24 pm


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TeamKernow
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by TeamKernow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:35 pm

:idea: Kevin Enslavery - still atit :idea:

Fishing for yet more gold for his corporate cronies from Cornwall's public services, public funds and publicly owned physical assets...



:idea: Computer Weekly Sum Up Corporate Enslavery Lavery Byte By Byte :idea:

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Marhak
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by Marhak » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:47 pm

And, when you read through the posts on that earlier link, isn't it all coming to pass? It's not that we were prophetic. It was bloody guaranteed!

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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by Morgawr » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:32 pm

I see from the BT briefing that transferred Council Staff will be offered free, or next to free, broadband.
Is that because they will be expected to work from home, perhaps? A distributed network of Teleworkers would certainly
save on overheads. Sort of cottage industry. How 18th century! 'alf a loaf and a glass of gin for yer pittance.
E-library?? I like Books, myself. Proper paper ones with a librarian attached.
One-stop shops to be merged with the Post Offices? How much more can we stuff into our Post Offices next to the tinned soup? Please let the Council Service Terminal not be touch screen! I can't be doing with those things. Sticky fingerprints and all back to the menu... Self-service options? Shall I come and dig the road up for you while I'm at it. Save you the trouble of sending a virtual hologram avatar of a council worker to sort the pothole outside.
Please, councillors, don't let the relief of the yanks backing out make you all dewy-eyed about our homeboys BT. They are not the homey GPO they used to be in the old days. 'Tis but a billing address and a computer.
As for the jobs mantra - this is the outfit that trashed Goonhilly, remember...
<we do not forget. we do not forgive> to borrow a quote.

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GrahamHart
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Re: Cornwall Council Privatisation

Post by GrahamHart » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:54 am

Great post Morgawr. I especially love the quote ;)

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