The Single Issue Panel Releases its Third Report on the Support Services Proposals

The Single Issue Panel (SIP) has just published its third and probably final report before the entire Council decides to either issue the Invite to Tender (IiT) and outsource many council functions and departments to a private company, or to say no once and for all.

Congratulations should go to Dave Biggs, the panel’s Chairman, and the rest of the panel for their hard work in putting this report together. As expected, the report gives a honest appraisal of the deal as best it good. Even though a great deal of information was not made available to the panel as part process.

A fundamental flaw to the process and I believe has hindered the SIP’s work is the lack of detailed business case on how the actual savings this deal would bring. The report highlights this (page 18) because the SIP has only been able to make observations on some of the figures.

Another flaw, is the lack of detail on alternative models which the full council wanted looking at. The SIP has not seen these alternatives apart from an early estimate of an in-house option. I firmly believe the SIP should have been able to scrutinise these alternative methods and compare them with the bid from BT. This could have been done, but certain sections of the Council have instead pushed for the council to decide in December, and not in the first few months of new year. Like I and many of my fellow Councillors want.

Friday’s meeting of the SIP is going to be interesting as the panel members might have to decide with the evidence provided if they support the BT deal, or it should not be progressed.


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