Tuesday 16 June 2009

Barnet Council deliberately wastes taxpayers’ money

Last month, Not The Barnet Times revealed how Barnet Council was wasting £31,000 of your money on an expensive room booking system when much cheaper alternatives were available.

Our friends at The Barnet Times followed up this article and interviewed the owner of a software development company, Sapnagroup, who said that his company could produce a program costing only £2,000.

A council spokesman told the newspaper that they could not understand how the quote from Sapnagroup could be so low. Sadly, nobody in the council could even be bothered to pick up the phone to them and find out.

Not The Barnet Times subsequently wrote to the council asking: “Given that the council has now been made aware that there are other systems available which will do the required task for a significantly cheaper price, will it start the tendering process again or is it continuing with the more expensive product?”

A council spokesman replied: “The council will not be re-tendering in regards to the room booking system.”

So there we have it. Barnet Council slashes the warden service saying it needs to save money, yet wastes £29,000 on a room booking system because it is too arrogant to admit that it doesn’t always know what is best.

This attitude is symptomatic of the Gordon Brown mentality where every problem can be solved by throwing ever larger sums of public money at it.

A private company would very soon go bust if it adopted this attitude. The people who take these spending decisions have little to no experience of working in the private sector, and most of them would fail miserably if they tried.

In this instance, the officer who took the decision did not speak to software companies. He spoke to other councils. Better to keep the old boy network happy than save taxpayers’ some money.

When Mike Freer launched his coup to become leader of the council in 2006, he promised to be absolutely ruthless on cost cutting. This is yet another example to prove that he is a complete phoney.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And what’s the betting it will go over budget just like every other public sector IT project?