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SpendMatters: "Is Barnet Council Capable of Managing Capita Contract? Auditors Not Sure …"

Link to web site

"Barnet is attempting to become a 'commissioning council', which means outsourcing pretty much everything it can. That is conceptually an interesting idea; it would leave the two key 'internal' activities for the Council as setting policy and managing contracts / suppliers. It’s not a new idea; I was involved in discussions along those lines in central government back in the 1990s. But it's absolutely clear that if such a model is going to work, you have to be good at procurement and contract management. The more activity, risk and delivery you put in the hands of third party suppliers, the more important it is that they are managed properly.

BDO [external auditors] agrees with this diagnosis in their report. However, and unfortunately, this does not seem to be actually happening in Barnet. BDO talks about contract management and monitoring like this:
"During the course of 2016/17 we have noted a number of internal audit reports which have raised significant findings in this area. In addition, further concerns have been identified through our own audit work. As such, we have recognised a significant risk to our use of resources [value for money] opinion."

'Champaign4Change' article on Barnet is here.

National Audit Office guidance is here.

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