There will be ‘no excuses’ if Bedford Borough Council fails to realise significant savings from an efficiency programme devised by private consultants.
The Bedfordshire on Sunday reported yesterday that the Council’s digitalisation programme and staff restructure, which will see more services provided online, has already come at a cost of £5m paid to consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Whilst the scheme is estimated to save £10.3m a year by the end of the decade, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Stephen Moon told the newspaper that to pay such a fee so early in the process is a ‘significant risk’. He said:
‘The Mayor has passed the buck to private consultants to undertake the council's restructure at a vast cost to the taxpayer, much of which will be paid up front. We are told that this will achieve around £10m a year in savings by the end of the decade.
‘Whether there are sufficient performance guarantees in the contract with the consultants is unknown, but to commit £5m so early in the process is a significant risk.
‘The council's record on managing commercial contracts is poor and there will be no excuses if this exercise does not deliver promised savings.’