The proposed redundancies will be handed out by Mr Craig Cooper, Commercial Director, salary £132,480 per annum.. You remember Craig Cooper? Hiding behind Andrew Travers, on the left hand side of the MetPro audit committee meeting, as shown in Mrs Angry's few minutes of fame on youtube. Freeze frame: that's him, staring at the table.
You may recall that it was the spectacular failure of the council's procurement systems that allowed the five year 'arrangement' with MetPro to continue without the benefit of any tender process, or contract, or job specification, or supervision, or properly authorised payments. And as we were told by Lord Palmer's report, MetPro clearly was only one example, the tip of the iceberg. The ship may have sunk as a result of disastrous navigation, but it is the ordinary ratings who are being punished, instead of the Captain and his senior officers.
If any individual employee is guilty of say, fraudulent activities or misconduct, or failing to perform his or her duties, then he or she should be investigated, or disciplined, and the issue properly resolved.
But that is not how they do things in Broken Barnet. In Broken Barnet, senior officers never leave in disgrace, they are paid off and slip out of the back door. Ordinary officers are sacked or are made redundant, as a sacrifical offering to the corporate Gods.
Mrs Angry particularly enjoyed reading the passage of the sacred text, the Corporate Plan, which accompanies this report into the committee meeting. It reminds the faithful:
3. CORPORATE PRIORITIES AND POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
3.1 The three priority outcomes set out in the 2011/2014 Corporate Plan are:
- better services with less money;
- sharing opportunities, sharing responsibilities; and
- a successful London suburb.
- to become a citizen centred organisation
drive for relentless efficiency in everything it does. In relation to our Commercial
Services, this means transforming the way we deliver services to get the best
from our commercial relationships and achieve more efficient and effective use
of Council resources.
4. RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES
4.1 Risk: Failure to take action as set out in this report would impact the Council’s
ability to deliver against its corporate and One Barnet priorities, to address
known weaknesses in its support services through successful delivery of the
Procurement and IS transformation plans and would have significant financial
consequences for the Council.
So our beloved council, holding the citizen at the heart of services - well wherever the heart would be, if our council had one - with relentless efficiency has decided that in order to improve the management of procurement, and deal with, ahem - 'known weaknesses' - the answer is to get rid of a load of ordinary officers and expect the lucky few who survive the cull to do all the work the council didn't bother to do before. Oh: before procurement is handed over to an outsourced company, of course. Marvellous.
And we can only hope that the money saved will be used to create some new, much needed One Barnet friendly posts elsewhere, perhaps in the Insight team, or assistant to the head of Transparency? After all, this council may not be able to run anything with any efficiency, relentless or otherwise, but if they keep telling us often enough that they can, we might start to believe it, mightn't we?