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TSSA Conference ’18 Outsourcing giants should never be near a public sector contract again, TSSA members charge

SAM TOBIN reports from Leicester

OUTSOURCING giants like Carillion should never be allowed near a public-sector contract again, TSSA members said today.

Delegates at the transport union’s conference in Leicester unanimously passed a motion calling for the reversal of “the deregulation, privatisation and contracting out processes of the last 20 to 30 years” following Carillion’s demise.

And members warned similar disasters lay in wait unless contracts for public services were taken back in-house.

Keeley Lipscombe, from Southeastern Metro branch, told delegates of “hospitals in Sandwell, Dudley and the west Birmingham area” which were “in complete disarray” following the collapse of Carillion earlier this year.

She said “Sandwell General Hospital is in bits,” while Birmingham City Hospital “has half an open maternity unit” with hospitals “already under immense pressure due to NHS cuts.”

Joel Kosminsky, from the retired members branch, said: “Carillion overreached, lied and cost uncounted jobs directly, and in the supply chains. Are the other octopus outsourcers far behind?

“And what about the big four audit companies who signed off these fraudulent accounts?

“Outsourcers are built on borrowing money and loading that onto the contracts they’ve underbid for and won.

“We need in-house management to stem the outflow of profit-taking. We need public transparency and public ownership. We need the unions on the inside to help hold these bastards to account.”

Steve Adshead, from the Lancashire and Cumbria general branch, blamed “accounting policy” for Carillion’s failure, adding: “There was a relationship between the company and its auditors that was restrictive, devious and very close to being criminal.

“There’s got to be a better standard for accounting for work that is done in the public domain.

“Any companies that want these contracts must be transparent and open before any contract is awarded.”

Marios Alexandrou, from the TSSA executive, said: “The collapse of Carillion has laid bare the scandal of private companies running the railways.

“The whole system of delivering simple public services through companies driven — by definition — by profit guarantees that it will happen again.

“Carillion is the story of a system that favours profit, dividends and shareholders’ interests over common good.

“Until we have a government that rips up these contracts and brings all these public services back in-house, there will be more Carillions to come.”

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