Capita fined £55k for failure to complete Barnet accounts on time

Barnet Council has fined Capita £55,000 for failing to complete the authority's accounts by the end of July 2017, the contractual deadline.

An Audit Committee report discussed at last week's meeting (2 Nov) said that "the [Capita] CSG finance service was going through a major restructure which spanned the year end period. As a result, vacancies had to be held in the team in the event of redeployment. An interim member of staff was brought in to cover a key role, however the lack of a permanent, experienced team meant there was a lack of resources in the core accounts closure team."

Councillors were informed that the £55,000 fine would be offset by the external auditor, BDO, charging more because of the extra work caused by Capita. There is no guarantee that the BDO cost will be accepted by Capita rather than falling on the Council.

The accounts were finally signed-off by the Audit Committee in September.

Labour's Audit Spokesperson, Cllr Geof Cooke said: 

“This latest Capita cock-up is yet another example of what can go wrong when key services are outsourced.

"The Barnet Tories tried to blame the external auditors for the delay and the errors, but this latest report makes it clear that the responsibility lies squarely with Capita.

"Instead of assigning blame to people that were drafted in to help sort the problem out, the Tories should accept that their mass outsourcing of back-office services to Capita has backfired and is unravelling.”

Ends.

Notes:

1. A link to the Audit Committee report be found here (see paragraphs 1.1, 1.3 and 1.6.1): 

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s43007/For%20publication.Accounts%20improvement%20plan%20report%203.pdf

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s43008/Accounts%20Closure%20Improvement%20Plan%20-%20Committee%203.pdf

2. For more on this issue see: 

http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/_capita_computer_cock_up_blamed_for_barnet_council_s_delayed_accounts

For more information contact:

cllr.g.cooke@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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