Request to Speak in Public Question Time – meeting of Somerset County Council 26th April 2017
The Future of the recently Transferred Learning Disability Provider Service (LDPS) to Dimensions UK Ltd (Discovery)
Please find enclosed some further questions arising from the responses recently provided to our County Council questions (15th February 2017) and Cabinet questions (15th March 2017). I would like to thank Councillor William Wallace for the supply of the Key Performance Indicators for the outsourcing contract of LDPS to Dimensions UK Ltd.
Q1 For comparison can these KPIs be completed for the final 3 months of the In House Service (January- March 2017) so that we can see (a baseline) what better, worse or similar performance looks like after transfer of the service to Dimensions UK Ltd?
Q2 Can the final versions of the pre-transfer Risk Register and Issues Log be also supplied (for the period up to 31st March 2017)?
Q3 What are the “specific circumstances” for terminating the contract with Dimensions UK Ltd?
Q4 What mitigating plans and actions have been considered between SCC and Dimensions UK Ltd (Discovery) to address the recruitment and retention (of staff) problem?
Q5 The Cabinet papers (7th July 2016) for Item 5 contained Appendices C and D which contained exempt information “and…therefore marked as Confidential”. Will the Appendices to that paper now be released so the part published Business Case can be put in context?
Q6 i) How much is SCC “investing” (as indicated in the written responses) in Dimensions UK Ltd (compared to the Financial Forecasts and projected expenditure of the In –House service) for each year of the contract?
- ii) Is the financial savings estimate (forecast) after 6 years still (cost if SCC ran the service directly £195m compared to Dimensions UK Ltd cost of £191m) approximately £4m?
These questions were sent in after the deadline for the 15th March Cabinet meeting but are in response to the SCC press release, which appeared in the public domain after midday on Friday 10th March.
Q7 i) One of the main ‘fresh’ points is that the sudden appearance of a, previously unknown, compensation fund raises more questions than it answers, e.g. SCC subsidising Dimensions’ plans?
- ii) Why was this fund deemed necessary in 2016 and why has this remained hidden until less than 3 weeks before the proposed transfer? Why is it being kept a secret from staff until after the proposed transfer date? Were Councillors told about the Compensation Fund and if so at which meeting?
Q8 Does the proposal about a Compensation Fund conform to TUPE and procurement legislation? Please demonstrate how this is met.
Q9 Has this extra funding been factored into the business plan/financial case?
Q10 How can using money that government has set aside for social care be used for compensation and not have a detrimental impact on remaining services & Service Users?
Unite Branch Secretary