Castlewood contractor is warned over post

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 October 2011

The audit found that the opening of the post had not been 'effective'

The audit found that the opening of the post had not been 'effective'

THE company awarded a £10million-a-year contract to handle the running of the council's Castlewood base has been investigated - for failing to open the post correctly.

Agilisys won the £840,000-a-month contract with North Somerset Council in August 2010 in a move designed to save ratepayers £13.6million by 2014/15, while creating 200 new jobs.

The firm took over a number of IT jobs, some human resources and finance functions, payroll and other services from October 2010, with other services transferred in May this year.

But North Somerset’s audit committee met last week and found the post-opening arrangements put in place by the company to be ‘ineffective’.

In the committee’s report, a review by the council’s auditing team found that mail delivery and the opening of post within the building was ‘not fully effective’ - though the council refused to tell the Mercury exactly what the firm was doing wrong.

North Somerset councillor Mike Bell said: “This is extraordinary. The council has signed up to a £10million-a-year contract with Agilisys to provide services and it cannot even open the post effectively.

“Amongst other things, Agilisys is supposed to be facilities management experts but apparently not when it comes to opening and delivering mail.

“The council urgently needs to review the contract with Agilisys to assess its effectiveness and to see whether it is really delivering the savings promised.”

A spokesman for the authority said: “It has taken some time for the relocation of teams at Castlewood to settle down but we have recognised the issues and they are being addressed.”

Agilisys’ partnership director, Cliff Graham, said: “We recognise that – as with any project of this size – it’s taken a little time for the relocation of teams at Castlewood to settle in, and we’re working closely with the council to address any associated issues.”

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