Kingdom Services Group "Whistle Blower"

P Rourke made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Bedford Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Bedford Borough Council,

In relation to the following article released this evening by the Liverpool Echo. Please see the below link for clarity.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liv...

Could you answer the following questions please:

1. Could you confirm that you have read the article?

2. Could you confirm that the Enforcement officers employed by Kingdom are not being paid a bonus of £5 if they issue 5 FPNs and £5 for every subsequent FPN issued beyond 5 for the duration of each working shift?

3. Could you confirm that all Kingdom employees have been employed on full contracts and do not have zero-hour contracts working on behalf of the local authority?

4. Could you confirm whether Kingdom Service Group recognises the union and whether their employees are given the option of joining a union when commencing employment?

5. Could you confirm whether the local authority will allow Kingdom Services Group to use Flexi-Workers (again zero hour contracts)?

6. Could you confirm the date your contract is due to expire with Kingdom Services Group?

Yours faithfully,

P Rourke

Freedom of Information, Bedford Borough Council

Thank you for your e-mail requesting information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

We will proceed with the request which we received today. It is our
intention to have the information delivered to you as soon as possible
otherwise within the statutory 20 working days.

 

In consideration of the request, which may be subject to any exemptions/
exceptions the Council may rely on to refuse the request, some of which
are absolute and some of which only apply where the public interest in
maintaining the exemption/exception outweighs that in disclosing the
information.

 

 

Please note that should you be requesting information under the
Environmental Information Regulations although we provide free access to a
wide range of information through our website, access to any public
registers which we hold and for inspecting information at our offices, we
are allowed to charge you a reasonable fee for providing certain
information.  If applicable, we will issue you with a fee notice.  This
will detail the tasks involved in responding to the request, and
associated costs.  Further information is available on the EIR page of
Bedford Borough Council’s website at the following link:

 

[1]http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...

  

 

Please note that once a response has been forwarded to you an anonymised
summary of all requests appear on the Bedford Borough website at the
following link:

[2]http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...
Our current practise is that the information will be available to view on
the web for 2 years.

 

Any future correspondence you may have with the Council in relation to
this matter should be emailed to [3][Bedford Borough Council request email] .

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...
2. http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...
3. mailto:[Bedford Borough Council request email]

Andrea Bechtle, Bedford Borough Council

Bedford BC - OFFICIAL-Unsecure

 

Dear P Rourke

 

Request pursuant to Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request No.12707

 

I refer to your recent enquiry for information held by the Council under
the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 concerning Kingdom
Services. Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the
authority must state whether or not the information exists and I can
confirm that we do hold the information you requested which has been
answered below. 

 

Please find your request and our response below: 

 

1. Could you confirm that you have read the article?
Yes.

 

2. Could you confirm that the Enforcement officers employed by Kingdom are
not being paid a bonus of £5 if they issue 5 FPNs and £5 for every
subsequent FPN issued beyond 5 for the duration of each working shift?
Kingdom Services Group have provided the following reply; Kingdom Services
Group Ltd are committed to rewarding their staff for the challenging,
often hostile environment they face during every day patrolling. The
salary enhancement/profit share initiative is a scheme whereby the officer
is rewarded for delivering high quality service and achieving above and
beyond what is expected of them in relation to time keeping, appearance,
absences, conduct/complaints and maintaining site profitability. 

 

Over the past 3 months Kingdom Environmental Services have gone through a
restructure to align it with the wider Kingdom Group. In doing so we have
reviewed the way in which the profit share scheme is delivered, whereby
inaccurate information relating to this process has been leaked into the
public domain.  The incorrect report detailed that the number of FPN’s
issued are solely the qualifying criteria for the profit share scheme,
whereas, in reality, the whole raft of KPI requirements needing to be
achieved went unreported. The leaked information formed only part of
consultation with Kingdom staff in relation to how the enhancement could
be calculated and audited.

Notwithstanding, we are not hiding that Kingdom are a private company and
like every other business need to generate a profit to stay in operation.

There is an expectation on staff to perform to the highest standards to
aid in this sustainability, especially when working on a cost neutral
model for the local authority.

 

Kingdom acknowledge the need for the current profit share scheme to be
projected with greater transparency, therefore a copy of the scheme will
be made public on the Kingdom website in due course. 

 

3. Could you confirm that all Kingdom employees have been employed on full
contracts and do not have zero-hour contracts working on behalf of the
local authority?
Bedford Borough Council have contracted Kingdom Services Group to provide
a minimum of the equivalent of 4 x full time patrol officers and it is for
Kingdom Services Group to the determine how they allocate resources  to
provide that service.

Kingdom Services Group have provided the following reply; Kingdom Services
Group Ltd confirm their staff have no normal hours of work, but we try to
give all staff a minimum of 40-48 hours per week, plus overtime where
available. Whilst they endeavour to offer work, their shifts are
ultimately dictated by the local authority’s requirements.  We make all
reasonable efforts to find suitable work for officers but cannot guarantee
offering a minimum number of hours work in any one week.

 

4. Could you confirm whether Kingdom Service Group recognises the union
and whether their employees are given the option of joining a union when
commencing employment?
Kingdom Services Group have provided the following reply; Kingdom Services
Group recognise the right of all employees to be represented by a union
and all staff are welcome to make their own enquiries into which union
they wish to be represented by, if any.

 

5. Could you confirm whether the local authority will allow Kingdom
Services Group to use Flexi-Workers (again zero hour contracts)?
As advised in question 3 the Councils contract with Kingdom Services Group
is to provide a minimum of the equivalent of 4 x full time patrol officers
and it is for Kingdom Services Group to the determine how they allocate
resources  to provide that service.
Kingdom Services Group have provided the following reply; Kingdom are
currently recruiting officers that do not to work full time hours and
prefer to work as and when required. Due to staff holidays, training and
absences, there will predominantly be an officer position that needs
covering. Our aim is to ensure we provide the correct cover to patrol the
communities and offer the consistent deterrent for those people who choose
not to make use of the bins.

All temporary staff are employed on the same contract as the existing
officers and receive the same on-going training and support.

 

6. Could you confirm the date your contract is due to expire with Kingdom
Services Group?
14/1/19 with the option to extend for a further two years.

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. For
further information regarding Re-use of Public Sector information please
see link below.  If for whatever reason you are unhappy with our response
to your application you are entitled to pursue any dissatisfaction through
the Council's Internal Review Procedure.  Pursuant to Section 17 (7) of
the Act the procedure provided by the Council for dealing with complaints
about the determination of this request for information is the Council’s
FOI Complaints Procedure, a copy of which can be obtained on request or is
set out at:

[1]http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...

 

Yours sincerely

 

Andrea Bechtle

FOI & EIR Officer - Environment

Bedford Borough Council

Room 336, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK429AP

(01234) 718243 (ext 47243)
‘Bedford Borough Council - Working with our partners to make the borough a
better place to live, work and visit.’

 

 

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