Barnet Council’s embattled Capita contract suffered a further blow at a meeting of the Council’s Audit Committee last night (1 May), when it was revealed that 170 employees were incorrectly auto-enrolled onto the pension scheme and were paid less than they should have this week.

The accident occurred due to a technical glitch with the Capita HR system, which has long been a subject of concern to the council.

Labour’s Audit lead Cllr Alison Moore said:

“This is yet another shambles by Capita. Labour members successfully pressed for an apology to be sent to the affected staff, that no staff would be out-of-pocket and that Capita would bear any additional costs, but we have no faith in Capita systems whatsoever, and – as the meeting revealed – there appear to be severe weaknesses in their ability to test those systems before they install and operate them.”

The meeting contained an embarrassing double whammy for Capita, after the external Auditor informed the committee that Capita did not provide control reports, which is standard practice for outsourced services.

Labour Councillor Kathy Levine said:

“This is appalling. Given we had a major fraud last year, it is vital the council has a proper control environment. Not doing this means external auditors rely on the over stretched and under resourced internal audit team. Management control reports for various departments are actually a contractual obligation, which is a further outrage and begs the question about what else we are paying Capita to do that they aren’t.”

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