Our Public Law team blog on a legal challenge to Barnet Council’s decision to outsource a wide range of services to outsourcing firm Capita. The judicial review is based on a number fo grounds, including an alleged breach of the public procurement regulations and an alleged breach of the Council’s fiduciary duty to tax payers.

As local authorities increasingly look to efficiences that can be made through shared sevrices and outsourcing, this hearing will be closely watched by both local authorities and suppliers of outsourcing services.

Brodies PublicLawBlog

Local authorities are increasingly expected to to find new and innovative ways of managing diminishing budgets and limited resources but the recent move by Barnet Council to outsource £320m worth of services has caused some to ask whether they have gone a step too far.

The Council has reportedly agreed to outsource services including the Council’s call centre, payroll, information technology and human resources to Capita over a 10 year period.  This has resulted in a backlash from some residents, one of whom (a disabled person who fears that the agreement could have an adverse impact on the support services she currently receives) has raised judicial review proceedings in the English High Court. 

The argument is that the contract is unlawful because the Council: (1) failed to comply with section 3(2) of the Local Government Act 1999 which places an obligation on local authorities to consult all stakeholders including residents…

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