Sunday 19 August 2012

One Barnet: new rules, and a new look for the House of Fun

An exciting week for the One Barnet House of Fun.

Just as the gentlemen callers were beginning to line up outside the door, awaiting admittance to the parlour, Madame has announced a change of plan, and a new list of attractions for her expectant customers.

Wave goodbye to the tired old menu on offer, the offering up of £250 million of our DRS council services for the delectation of one lucky client, to enjoy as he sees fit. For some reason, perhaps due to the misgivings of the would be punters, listening to the words of caution whispered in their ears by the Barnet blogosphere, a seemingly more attractive proposal is on offer.

The House will now not only pimp the favours of our council services to the favoured client, the House will now subsidise the cost of enjoying our council services, and share the profits to be made out of pimping our council services. If the girl on the sofa turns out to be a disappointment, the House will bear the cost, and the client can just pick up his hat, and leave, no questions asked. Win, win, for the client, in other words.

In the One Barnet House of Fun, this sort of transaction is known as a 'Joint Venture'. There are other similar practices in other houses. History suggests this may not work out quite as happily as the client might require, however.

Take a look at these examples:

Capita, at Service Birmingham

ooh, hello, look here, Mouchel, in Oldham & Rochdale:

in Liverpool,with BT ...

and not forgetting IBM, and South West One ...

We will stop there, I think, for now ...

Mrs Angry has friends in all sorts of places, as you know, including, yes, including the world of outsourcing.

And one of her friends in the world of oursourcing has explained to Mrs Angry that in fact, 'Joint Ventures', as well as being inherently more risky and more costly, are much more difficult to run, with the staff involved left in an unfortunate sort of twilight world, more in some sort of secondment, or half way house of degradation, rather than pimped out directly to the private sector, that the 'culture' is radically different, and the workers involved are even more disadvantaged than they would be in a more straightforward act of privatisation (where they still get f*cked, but more immediately, and more openly).

So why, you may be asking, would anyone want to promote such perverse practices, in any house of fun? Where is the profit? Where is the fun?

Let's look again at the original report which set out what passes for a business plan, a menu for the new order in the One Barnet house of fun. This report, you may recall, was written by our One Barnet implementation partners.

Now then: can you remember, citizens, ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, who are the implementation partners of the outsourcing of council services, as directed by the One Barnet house of fun?

Yes. That would be our favoured consultants, Agilisys, working with iMPOWER.

Agilisys, the consultants who are paid around £250,000 a month for their services: dealing with the laundry, turning the mattresses, that sort of thing.

And their partners iMPOWER, as you may recall, were lucky enough last year to acquire the services of an old friend of Broken Barnet, the former BT director, Mr Max Wide, who is an expert on outsourcing, and has worked on secondment from BT at Barnet and other authorities like Suffolk, in the era of Andrea Hill, in order to help them in their various innovative enterprises.

(BT, of course, is one of the two final bidders for the other, larger £750 million customer service package on offer at the One Barnet knocking shop).

The contract with Agilisys was one of the documents that were so heavily redacted when three of the Barnet bloggers went along to the council offices to view the accounts, and the details of the arrangements with this company and partners remain shrouded behind a becoming veil of modesty, in the interests of non transparency, and the traditional reluctance of Tory Barnet to submit to the requirements of accountability.

Anyway: funnily enough, 'Joint Ventures' would appear to be the preferred working method of Agilisys.

Take a look at the following examples ...

Hammersmith & Fulham:

Oldham, the Unity partnership:

and now Tower Hamlets:

Nice work, if you can get it, and here is the profit, and here is the fun.

Welcome once more to the House of One Barnet.

Leave your coat on the hall table. You can keep your hat on.

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