Customer management outsourcing company Vertex has become the latest to sign a memorandum of understanding on efficiencies with the Cabinet Office. It said it has done so as part of the Cabinet Office led supplier contract renegotiation programme to find new savings in IT business with central government. Most of the IT firms …
All very interesting but...
Suppliers will just deliver less or worst just use less experienced and cheaper staff...so who actually wins here? Why not ask for a change in company ethos so that when working for the public sector companies do not use inefficient & ineffective methods for delivery & support just to expand revenues? Seeking across the board savings is an admission that Government does not have access to the right skills (people) to negotiate and formulate appropriate contracts. The worst thing is that we all lose here - we are all tax payers and users of Government services (but the large IT suppliers really don't care).
All very interesting... but worthless
"Why not ask for a change of ethos..." This is, to a great extent, what Francis Maude has asked for. All of these 'MoU suppliers' are incumbents on existing contracts and there is no suggestion that they are or were performing (particularly) badly. The problem is that the Gov't no longer wants to pay to deliver the services as agreed so the options are: (a) don't pay and forego the service; (b) re-negotiate but give it a nice gloss by asking suppliers to come up with ideas for delivering more for the same (or a bit less) money; (c) re-negotiate the price down for the same service. The suppliers hate the thought of (c) so have embraced (b). My mob certainly did and put forward several major ideas.
Unfortunately, there are no easy cost-savings to be had so big savings can only be made by making big changes to the structure of Gov't. Needless to say, Gov't is wary of that - for good reasons as well as the more prosaic ones. Eventually you'll see some of those changes start to come through but they are all multi-year projects.
Anyway, on the 'worthless' bit of the title: the MoU was duly signed and the Cabinet Office broke it within two weeks. (To be fair that was probably just a left-hand / right-hand problem.) :-(
/Pint 'cos it's not worth fretting over
vertex? efficiencies? HA!
I used to work for them. i would hardly call them models of efficiency. I worked in their nPower office in Knowlsey (Orange, BetDirect and one or two others were there too), and it was run horrendously.
I dealt with the complaints from the regulator, and they were all stored/indexed in an excel file. The paper files weren't stored by case number, but by OFGEM regional office, and I even got repremanded for being late, becauseyou have have to be there on time to answer the phones; I never answered the phones, because I dealt with the fax and mail. In fact, my phone was the only one that wasn't on the main answer line, it wasn't even on the backup board, which came on when there were too many calls waiting and everyone had to jump on to get the "service figure" back up (I had to be free to deal with the regulator offices if they called)
Getting Vertex to discuss efficiencies, is like getting Somali's to discuss Admiraly law - they just won't have a clue.
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