Five companies to help worst authorities named

The department of health has named the five companies
shortlisted to help the worst performing social services
departments, writes Lauren Revans.

They are multi-national management consultancies Arthur
Anderson, KPMG, Deloitte and Touche, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and
PA Consulting.

The five will provide performance action teams to work with four
of the 10 ‘no-star’ social services departments, which were
considered by the Social Services Inspectorate incapable of
tackling the task ahead of them without external assistance:
Walsall, Coventry, Birmingham and North east Lincolnshire.

Each of the companies were described by the doh as having “a lot
of experience in this area”, were selected after a competitive
tender, which resulted in no appropriate bids from the public

Commenting on the five companies short-listed, a doh
spokesperson said: “To get onto that list, they had to demonstrate
a firm grasp of both local government issues and those related to
social services.

“One of the evaluative criteria of the proposals from the
consultancy firms tendering for this work will be a demonstration
of their expertise in working with councils with social services
responsibilities in the particular fields stated in the

However, Owen Davies, national officer for Unison, called for
more transparency about the tendering process and criteria

“We have always accepted that some authorities may benefit from
outside help,” Davies said. “But we think that might better be
provided by IDeA (Improvement and Development Agency). There are
people who have a deep and long term commitment to local government
and local democracy. There are people in the system perfectly able
to give local authorities the sort of advice and support they



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