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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 4541

In-sourcing of services

Request

Question 1 - Which of the following statements best describes your authority's experience of outsourcing/in sourcing the provision of services?
The authority has no outsourced services
The authority provides a number of outsourced services, but has not formally considered bringing any of these back in-¬house (in sourcing) over the last 3 years
The authority has not formally considered in sourcing services in the last 3 years, but we deliver "in¬-house" services that were previously outsourced
The authority has reviewed contracts for outsourced services over the last 3 years and formally considered bringing these services back in-¬house. However, a decision was made to continue outsourcing the service(s)
The authority has reviewed contracts for outsourced services over the last 3 years and formally considered bringing these services back in¬-house. A decision was made to bring some or all of these service(s) back in-¬house

Question 2 – for each of the last 3 years (2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12) please state:
The number of services that were considered for in-sourcing, and
The number of these that were actually brought back in-house

Question 3 – If the authority formally considered in sourcing any services, but decided NOT to do so, please indicate the reason(s) for the decision below.
The authority felt it did not have the skills or resources to be able to manage the process of bringing a service back in-¬house (e.g. managing the in-¬house bid, demobilizing the existing contract and mobilizing the new approach)
The authority felt it would not have been able to provide effective on¬going management or delivery of a service brought back in-¬ house, because it would not have the skills, competences or resources, or a lack of staff numbers to run the service
Politically, in sourcing was not an acceptable approach

When reviewed against a contracted arrangement, the in-¬house solution would have been more expensive
When reviewed against a contracted arrangement, the in-¬house solution would not have delivered the performance needed
When reviewed against a contract arrangement, the in-¬house solution would not have delivered required levels of customer service
There was considerable resistance from stakeholders to in sourcing
If there are other reasons, please state them

Question 4 – For EACH service actually brought back in-house, please state:
The description of the service
The year in which the decision was taken to bring back in-house
The year in which in-house provision actually began
The main reason(s) the authority decided to bring the service in-house

Question 5 – On the basis of the authority’s experience of the PROCESS of bringing services back in-house (i.e. NOT the results), please indicate the FIVE most significant issues/challenges/problems encountered
Obtaining senior officer consensus
Researching or understanding equivalent current service levels being achieved in other authorities
Establishing and maintaining new local supply chains
Embedding and maintaining continuous improvement
Identification/base lining/measurement of actual service levels
Re¬integration of in sourced service with existing authority support functions (e.g. finance, HR, ICT, Fleet, Facilities Management, etc.)
Maintaining staff motivation/enthusiasm
Obtaining political consensus
Workforce, staff or union resistance
Creating a team to create the in-¬house solution that has sufficient experience
Creating a team to manage the in-house solution that has sufficient experience
Developing sufficient understanding of current service delivery
Were there any other challenges/issues/problems?
Preparing the in¬-house solution, particularly in terms of finance and cost
Preparing the in¬-house solution, particularly in terms of performance management
Preparing the in¬-house solution, particularly in terms of delivery methodology
Ensuring objectivity in terms of evaluating the in-¬house solution
Mobilization of the in-¬house service
Other (please describe)

Question 6 - Please indicate up to FIVE benefits that the authority has found from the in sourcing it has carried out
Improved service performance against targets
Efficiency savings or contribution to financial targets
Improved service standards
Greater customer satisfaction
Improved Cabinet (etc.) satisfaction with the services
Improved local employment and employment practices
Additional services or added value from existing ones
Better delivery of local strategic objectives
Better workforce management (including training and development, terms and conditions, etc.)
Improved core capabilities directly under authority's control
Better responsiveness to Cabinet (etc.) requirements
Better flexibility to changing needs
Better responsiveness to detailed customer needs
Better integration of workforce within authority's workforce policy
Greater focus on achieving local sustainability/environmental objectives
Greater focus on other local policy agendas
Improved ethos of public service delivery
More support to local supply chains
Assets related to the service are in a better condition or are better managed
Easier to facilitate joint commissioning (e.g. authority owned company, or third sector partnership)
Other (please describe)

Question 7 - If the in sourcing led to cash savings, please indicate the percentage of the original budget that was saved

Question 8 - Please indicate up to FIVE undesired consequences that the authority has found from the in sourcing it has carried out
Increased operational/delivery costs
Reduction in flexibility to changing requirements
Difficulty in demonstrating positive impact as a result of a lack of performance measures
Increased stakeholder dissatisfaction
Adverse media comment
Public dissatisfaction
Increased management costs
Increased management burden
Increased administrative burden on authority staff
Reduction in standard of service/customer satisfaction
Reduction in flexibility to satisfy customer needs
Greater workforce dissatisfaction
Greater Cabinet (etc.) dissatisfaction with service
Local supply chains less well supported
Other (please describe)

Question 9 - If cash costs increased as a result of in-sourcing, please indicate the percentage increase over the original budget

Question 10 – Please indicate up to FIVE of the most significant/important lessons learned from your in-sourcing experience
Need for a good team to manage the process of running an in-house bid
Need to allow sufficient time for preparation of in sourcing
Need for a good team to manage the service after in-sourcing
Need to allow sufficient time for mobilization and bedding in
Need for good information/evidence to underpin decisions
Need to set up new processes to monitor and capture best practice from elsewhere
Need to be reflective of local conditions in making in sourcing decisions
Need to take in sourcing decisions on a service-by-service basis, rather than have a blanket approach
Need for consultation with service users
Integrating back into the authority and its support services significantly more challenging than expected
Need for strong business case
Need for political/officer consensus
Need to employ specialist managers for the in sourced service
Need to be able to manage a mix of both in sourced and out¬sourced services
Other (please describe)

Question 11 - Do you expect that the authority will formally consider bringing services back in-house in the foreseeable future?

Question 12 - If you expect the authority will definitely bring services back in-¬house in the future, or will carry out feasibility studies, please state:
Number definitely to be brought back in-house during FY 2012/13
Number likely to be considered for feasibility during FY 2012/13
Number definitely to be brought back in-house during FY 2013/14
Number likely to be considered for feasibility during FY 2013/14
Possible number of services further in the future 

Response

Thank you for your FOI request. The answers to the questions as listed are as follows:

1. The authority has no outsourced services.
2. N/A
3. N/A
4. N/A
5. N/A
6. N/A
7. N/A
8. N/A
9. N/A
10. N/A
11. No
12. N/A


If you are unhappy with the way your request for Information has been handled you may request a review by writing to:

The Complaints Co-ordinator
Brentwood Borough Council
Town Hall
Ingrave Road
Brentwood
Essex
CM15 8AY

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The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 08456 30 60 60
Or 01625 54 57 45

Website www.ico.gov.uk