Meeting: 12/05/2009 - Cabinet (Item 47)
To agree and sign off the outstanding Capita contractual matters, in accordance with the Council’s decision.
Report of the Executive Member for the Transformation Portfolio (William Smith).
David Spencer and Dave Jolley from Capita Symonds were in attendance for this item.
This item had been referred to Cabinet for a decision having regard to a range of issues that had emerged during final negotiations and due diligence that, in the opinion of the Deputy Chief Executive, had a material impact on the five criteria against which the contract was to be evaluated, and the risks associated with proceeding to execute the agreement.
The report updated Members on these issues and the essential features of, and the risks associated with, the final draft of a contract between the Council and Capita Symonds Limited.
Specific issues related to:
· securing substantial efficiency savings;
· generating significant income;
· demonstrable improvements to the quality of service;
· provisions for the return of s strong planning and building control service upon the termination of the contract; and
· pension costs
There were concerns of how projected savings could be measured and whether the Council would end up paying more for services if a specification of work Capita would have to complete was not comprehensive enough. There were also concerns about the legality of the delegated planning decisions and what would happen if the contract was terminated.
The Deputy Chief Executive was satisfied that the contractual arrangements that had been agreed with Capita had been met. However, this did not necessarily mean that the Council should enter into the agreement. It had become apparent that the negotiation process demonstrated that it would be impossible to devise a simple, robust mechanism for tracking the delivery of savings over time as the baseline and subsequent service levels demanded and provided would change. This was not to say that savings would not be delivered; they could not, however, be identified with sufficient precision to be incorporated into the contract. Members therefore needed to satisfy themselves that the mechanism for controlling costs as volumes changed would promote delivery of more efficient services than could otherwise be provided in-house over the same period. Officers believed that if the service did remain in-house, it would be possible to formulate a management plan with a cost profile that would deliver savings over the 15 year period broadly comparable to those offered by Capita as guaranteed efficiency savings.
Members were informed that the arrangements for making delegated decisions had been agreed to the Deputy Chief Executive’s satisfaction. The Deputy Chief Executive explained that normally delegated decisions were made by the Head of Planning or one of his two principal officers. In future, Capita’s agreed arrangement was that those officers would not now be able to make decisions on behalf of the Council. They would instead have to prepare a notice of decision, complete with reasons and any conditions together with a Proforma report for the Deputy Chief Executive and he, or an officer authorised by him, would make the decision.
If the contract was signed, Capita would provide all of the services that were presently provided by the authority’s Planning and Building Control teams, ... view the full minutes text for item 47