Wednesday, 4 April 2018

“Apologies: Why I appear to be obsessed by Capita” – John Burgess

In August 2013 Barnet Council signed two big contracts with Capita.

It was reported in the Guardian here: 

“Does One Barnet mark a change in how services will be delivered in the future?”

At the time of signing the contract Capita Share Price was £9.89 a share
On 17 July 2015 Capita Share Price was £13.20 a share
On 23 September 2016 Capita Share Price was £9.90 a share
On 30 June 2017 Capita Share Price was £6.91 a share
On 12 January 2018 Capita Share Price was £4.20 a share
On 2 February 2018 Capita Share Price was £1.62 a share
On 4 April 2018 Capita Share Price was £1.31 a share

Unlike some who will read this short report, I know very little about the stock market.

However, I am very concerned about the speed of the decline of the share price especially in light of a number of high profile private sector companies experiencing financial difficulties such as Interserve, Mitie and of course the collapse of Carillion.

The collapse of Carillion brought back memories of another contractor failure here in Barnet.
Back in June 2010, I approached Barnet Homes because I could see Connaughts were in serious trouble.

Barnet Homes had outsourced the Council Housing Repairs Service to Connaughts.
I asked Barnet Homes if they had a contingency plan and if so would they consider bringing the service back in-house in the event Connaught collapse.

Barnet Homes ignored our proposals and did not bring the service back in-house and the Connaughts went into liquidation.

The workforce were told the bad news on a speakerphone in Mill Hill depot.

It was a disgraceful treatment of the workforce who did not even know if they were entitled to any redundancy money or if their Pension was safe.

It was unacceptable and avoidable.

But in 2010 the ideology of outsourcing, Easy Council, One Barnet was the dominant culture in the Council and contractor failure was not of interest.

I did what I could and raised the matter with the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council.

When a company goes into liquidation there it is much more difficult to deal with issues for the workforce.

Eventually, after much lobbying a contractor named Lovells were handed the contract. 
However, the contract was later handed over to a company called Mears.

I vowed that if anything like this happened again I would do everything I could as Branch Secretary of Barnet UNISON to ensure our members and services are protected.

I do not want our members working for Capita to go through what our members in Connaughts had been through.

“Capita shares collapse after warning on profits”

Since the dramatic news of Capita Share Price warning earlier this year I have made it my business to check what is happening to Capita and sought conformation from the Council as to what contingency plans are in place.

I have no idea what will happen to Capita in the future.

But our members are currently providing services for Barnet residents and the Councils in-house services. It would be negligent of me if I was not to continue to scrutinise and seek assurances as to what is happening to those services currently being provided by Capita.  

I will not be silenced.  

Finally there is an interesting link between Connaughts and Capita that many will be unaware of: “The FCA has ordered Capita Financial Managers to pay up to £66m to investors in the collapsed Connaught Income fund.”

On 26 April 2018 #Capita announce their five year plan……………………….