Union says decision by Boris Johnson’s deputy paves the way for around 500 support staff to be handed to a private firm

police controlHundreds of Metropolitan Police civilian staff face being privatised by early summer under plans agreed by London’s deputy mayor, the PCS says.

The decision by Boris Johnson’s deputy for policing Stephen Greenhalgh paves the way for around 500 support staff to be handed to a private firm that is already offshoring other public sector work.

Under the proposals ‘business services’ staff in human resources, payroll and procurement could be handed to a new company Shared Services Connected Ltd, without the need for a tendering process.

Majority owned by French multinational Sopra Steria, SSCL was set up in 2013 to take over similar functions in government departments and has confirmed some civil service work is now done in India.

The deal, known as a framework agreement, allows SSCL to take over HR and finance services in any part of the public sector.

If the SSCL option is chosen, police staff jobs could be privatised as early as June.

The final decision on whether the Met will do this or put the contract out for a full competitive tender is due to be made in April, but the union says the business case is flawed and the work should be kept in-house.

Throughout the process senior officials have refused to properly consult with the unions.

All of the Met’s “non front line services” are being reviewed to see if they could be privatised, including civilian staff who work side by side with officers in criminal justice.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This government and its supporters have a political obsession with lining the pockets of company shareholders.

“We do not believe the often sensitive work done by civilian staff in the Met Police should be handed to a private company and these plans should be scrapped.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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