As an avid reader of this blog and all things TR, I have tried to make a contribution that will possibly make a difference. There is lots to go at but little is happening at the moment. The caravan processes on slowly but surely and we seem unable to make any impact. I was drawn to this recent comment;
“In my view the best tactic for stopping TR is to help disgruntled unsuccessful bidders appeal the procurement process. Grayling’s weakness is that he has very little contingency in letting the new contracts. Delaying tactics – especially if they can slow down the letting of any contracts until Feb/March 2015, mean that he could run out of time before the next election.“I think this is a particularly important focus of the campaign to stop TR. This is an area of real concern to all staff both CRC and NPS – presently the focus is on the omnishambles caused by the split, but this is not having a publicly recognised impact yet.
Both Jim and Ian Lawrence have had further comment to make on the share sale plans. Here’s Ian Lawrence’s from his blog:
“More good but predictable news that the so called bidding process is to have a further evaluation stage introduced, speaks volumes of the shambles it is in, and is clearly a sop to those bidders who have been complaining about the commercial and operational difficulties they faced in pulling a tender together. It also raises another embarrassing question which is: why is another assessment stage deemed necessary if everything is so hunky dory, and after the all the blatant spoon feeding and coaching of would be CRC contractors that the taxpayer has paid for?“And as Jim has suggested;
“We know that the MoJ is determined that the share sale will go ahead, whatever, before the end of the year, because there is a political imperative. But we know Chris Grayling is between a rock and a hard place because so many bidders have dropped out and those remaining are driving a hard bargain, precisely because they know the electoral clock is ticking. They are ditching all that PbR nonsense and wanting a premium for taking on a poisoned chalice full of pissed-off staff. Basically, an MoJ employee was being instructed to revisit the scoring of potential bidders because the scores were not high enough.”So, if the process is corrupt in the way that an additional stage been put in, scores been tampered with and bidders who quite frankly don’t cut the mustard are allowed to continue, then there must be a claim from those who have spent literally millions to ask for some transparency in the process? If I was a bidder who believed I was going to win some lucrative contracts very soon because of the money that I had invested in sending staff out and writing bids, I would be mighty pissed off if I believed others were having their scores improved to maintain the competition – this could both cost more money and inflate the ultimate share sale cost surely!
Now I am a simple person but I can see there is malpractice here, do they call it insider trading when stockbrokers gain an advantage through knowing what is coming up before others? What is it called in government, is it fraudulent to inflate a share sale price? Here is where there could be some linkage between the various parties in anti TR. We must try and stop the share sale as the first contributor suggested and this is how it could be accelerated.
NAPO are aware of malpractice and they have also been in discussion with some of the bidders. Is there a chance they could raise the matter with them or am I been naïve to think that the organisations are too focused on the big prize to see what is going on? So perhaps Dean and Ian might want to take up the invitation that they have had to speak to bidders and highlight the dubious dealings of the MoJ and the cost to them, as well as us.
Jim, you have a role too in continuing to highlight the issues of poor procurement practice and not having a service that is fit to sell – remember the Sale of Goods Act? Surely anyone trying to sell what we have must be liable to prosecution on the grounds of “merchantable quality”!!
Jointly we can all raise issue of government malpractice by talking/writing to our MP’s, PCC’s, Councillors to highlight that all may not be well in the TR house. Strong opponents of TR like Vera Baird will have something to tackle the ministers with. It is a quiet time in Government as the House is in recess and I am sure that is why we are seeing this happening now so the more noise made now may give the papers something to write about during this fallow month.
If I were a bidder, I would also be furious if the requirements of the winning bid were different from those in the original specification because any changes would make a difference to the actual bid. More to the point, if I had pulled out because a financial package was unfavourable but it CHANGED before the bids were awarded, I would scream blue murder. Also, any horse trading over areas with no bids (Wales?) would compromise the whole process further. I will be more surprised if this debacle is NOT challenged that if it is.
No bids for Wales?? first I've heard of this, anyone know any more?
Now a man in the pub who is very knowledgeable about such things tells me that devious plans are underway to ban staff from speaking out against poor performance in their areas. This will be wrapped up in terms of it being 'damaging to apportioned value of the organisation' at a time when 'commercial confidentiality' is king.....man in the pub says that there would be little they could do about it if CRC staff asked their NPS colleagues to fly the flag on their behalf and vice versa......man in the pub says that this blog is having an impact at the highest level and what's the first casualty in a war????
I also know a man in the pub and he says all areas have at least TWO bidders ......issue might be how good these bidders are? If they are tinkering with the process all areas now might have FOUR bidders by now! I might suggest to the bloke in the pub that he gets these bidders to create merry hell 'cos they are been shafted like the staff (sheds crocodile tears for bidders!!). Who said "buyer beware"......
MoJ/NOMS will divvy the areas up between bidders - you watch - each will have a similar number of areas so that no bidder is left empty handed. Talk about cooking the books. The skids need putting on this debacle as soon as possible - because at the moment all staff are scoring Significant Problems' on their own oasys assessment for Emotional Wellbeing.
Sounds like Grayling's employing an old market trader tactic - shiny, beautiful apples on display, but damaged, bruised fallers are loaded into the customer's bag:
"Probayshun! Come and get yer luvverly Probayshun! Fresh from the Trusts, mind. Two for the price of one. Come on, darlin', you look like you could do wiv a bit of TR. Cash only. Come on, come round 'ere and we'll see what we can throw in for you (wink, wink)."*****
One of the chief architects of privatising public services, and "best friend" of Francis Maude, has resigned.
"The government’s chief operating officer Stephen Kelly has today announced he will leave the civil service in November to become the chief executive of business software firm Sage Group."******
C'mon, see this for what it is...Mr Kelly can now help SAGE develop financial and IT packages for "providers of probation services". Bet SAGE now step into this game (err sorry, probation) big time. Conflict of interests? Think we should all be writing to Ms Hodge about this one...it stinks...
Grim story in today's Observer. Substitute CRC for Care UK and you are probably in the presence of the future. Substitute Care UK for NPS in a few years time and you probably have the same. 35% pay cuts, state and third sector squeezed out - get those debts paid down now folks, while you still can:-
Care UK won the supported living contract from the (Doncaster) council after telling officials that it could deliver it for £6.7m over three years. Yet the wage bill alone for the service was £7m.
Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and anti-poverty campaigner who has analysed Care UK's business model for another union, Unite, said he recognised similarities with all the major private equity-backed care firms.
He said: "They often win contracts on the basis of making losses or small profits. At the same time they are putting in place what look to be tax-driven structures that are designed to mitigate taxes on profits. I believe that what a lot of these companies are trying to do is to undermine any chance that an NHS organisation can win contracts.
"Once they have squeezed out the state sector, and the third sector, we will then see prices rise; then we will see profits; then we will see these tax-efficient structures working."******
NAPO!! UNISION!! Get hold of this expert accountant Richard Murphy NOW, he understands the metrics and the future and could prepare an expert briefing paper. C'mon use your heads and start talking to this expert now! Let's publicly prove Grayling is a liar and misled Parliament by producing the figures to prove it. We are really great at probation work, accountants likewise with figures...Let's start to work smart, if this is all about the figures let's disprove them maybe even collect some data relevant for JR...now there is a thought.
No doubt a thought already expressed, but something that struck me recently... Most of the likely bid candidates are already suppliers of services to the UK govt. If they win the probation contracts, how does that affect the facilities management contracts? For example, will a bidder be allowed to rent a property from themselves, cleaned & serviced by themselves in a pre-existing contract?
It beggars belief that such totalitarian control of government contracts, i.e. Public money, continues to be handed over to Tory chums running global monopolies when the EVIDENCE is clearly available that subsequent service provision is crap to non-existent; that staff are abused, deskilled, poorly paid and neglected; and that it actually costs many times more than when previously provided, but the lying cheating weasels use accountants and PR and bullying tactics to hide the truth.
I have written to the monopolies and mergers agency. I have written to my (useless and TR collusive) MP. I have written to Watchdog. I have written to the European Parliament. I have written to Radio 4 (today & wato).