Thursday, May 03, 2007

Public sector failings

This would not happen in a private company:

The Old Bailey was told that a wall protecting a "lethal void" in a block of flats in Manor Park, east London, had been left in a dangerous condition for five months.

Six workmen called on five occasions but failed to carry out repairs.
Each time a workman had been sent, the job was not found or the wrong type of maintenance employee was sent.
And so a 13 year old boy fell to his death. Newham Council has been fined £125,000.

So Newham tax payers had to pay for four wasted expeditions by workmen, plus a six figure fine.

If Councils must manage housing stock, they should employ no workmen at all. They should contract the work to private companies, which would have to pay the costs of sending the wrong workmen, and which would cease to get work if they didn't do the jobs in a timely and cost effective way.

But it would be far better if they did not manage any housing stock.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Jarvis could bid for this work, given taxpayer good value and and success in dealing with railways?


Peter Risdon said...

Good point, Will. The safety record did improve after rail privatisation. But unfortunately, Jarvis might be too big a fish. Councils generally tender smaller work out to more local contractors.