In yet another sign that austerity isn’t holding back the Tories’ privatisation agenda, research has revealed that spending with corporate outsourcing companies has jumped 23% in two years. A report published by the Institute for Government shows that such spending rose from £1.02bn in January 2012 to £1.25bn in December 2013 — an increase of 23% in a period which saw public services being slashed.
Readers will doubtless be reassured to discover that the top two companies in the queue for taxpayers’ cash are, errrr, Capita (£803m) and Serco (£445m).
- The DWP had to send its own staff to help Capita send payments to disabled people, after the firm proved incapable of processing them in time
- In a contract with the UK Border Agency, Capita told people legally living in the UK that they had to leave — including at least one with a British passport
- Serco was overcharging the Ministry of Justice for prisoner tagging for eight years — including for people that were dead
- When Capita failed to provide contracted court translation services it was fined £2,200 despite the huge costs of delayed trials
- Serco mis-reported the performance of its out-of-hours GP services in Cornwall — but still received bonus payments thanks to a poorly drafted contract
- Capita was fined £300,000 by financial regulators after staff attempted to defraud customers of £1.8m
Outsourcing is one of just two categories of spending (the other being utilities) to see private companies trousering more cash.