|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: CPI|
|Industry||Business process outsourcing
|Sir Ian Powell (Chairman)
Andy Parker (Chief Executive)
|Products||BPO & service transformation
Back office administration
Finance & treasury
Claims & policy administration
HR, staff support & training
ICT & software
Property & infrastructure
|Revenue||£4,674.3 million (2015)|
|£639.0 million (2015)|
|£55.6 million (2015)|
Number of employees
It is the largest business process outsourcing and professional services company in the UK, with an overall market share of 27% in 2009, and has clients in central government, local government and the private sector. It also has a property and infrastructure consultancy division which is the fourth largest multidisciplinary consultancy in the UK. Roughly half of its turnover comes from the private sector and half from the public sector. Whilst UK-focused, Capita also has operations across Europe, Africa and Asia.
Capita was formed 1984 as a division of the non-profit CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy). In 1987 it became an independent company with 33 staff as a result of a management buy-out, led by Rod Aldridge, and was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1991.
In March 2006, Executive Chairman Rod Aldridge resigned in the aftermath of claims that contracts awarded to the Group were influenced by his loan of £1 million to the Labour Party. Aldridge resigned saying that he denied the claims, but to avoid any lingering doubts about it, he was leaving the company. Aldridge had overseen the company's growth from a small company in 1987 to a FTSE 100 member in 2006. He was replaced by his longtime associate Paul Pindar.
On 1 July 2011, Capita acquired Ventura, a customer contact specialist for a cash consideration of £65 million. On 28 February 2013, Capita bought the Fire Service College from the Department for Communities and Local Government for £10 million.
Capita works across eight markets - local government, central government, education, transport, health, life and pensions, insurance, and other private sector organisations (including financial services).
Examples of their activities include - a television licence fee contract for the BBC, won from the Post Office; provision of IT services, including web hosting and helpdesk support, to many county and city councils, many LEAs, the Driving Standards Agency and the National Rail (NCCA); full ownership of CHKS, a hospital accreditation scheme and healthcare informatics group; ownership of a number of health clinics; insurance and occupational health services.
Capita manages the Criminal Records Bureau for the Home Office. In 2002, when mandatory CRB-vetting of all workers with children was brought in, a large number of teachers were temporarily unable to work after Capita's systems had difficulty with the workload and were subsequently overwhelmed, meaning that the start of the academic year was delayed in some places. Poor systems specifications and last-minute changes in government policy by the then Secretary of State for Education, Estelle Morris are believed to have been significant factors in these delays.
Capita entered the healthcare recruitment market during May 2011 through acquisition of Team24, a healthcare recruitment specialist - extending the services they offer within the recruitment industry.
Capita also intended to enter into the legal services market and entered into a funding arrangement with the Law Firm Optima Legal Services Limited which saw them, in the period between May 2006 to the end of 2009 invest a total of £36,700,000 by way of investment loans into Optima. As part of the funding arrangement Capita Group had the option of acquiring the shares of Optima Legal Services for the nominal sum of £1 upon the full implementation of the Legal Services Act 2007 which would make ownership of law firms by the likes of Capita possible. It is thought that such Alternative Business Structures ("ABS") could be lawful around October 2011. However, on 9 August 2010 it was reported that the Solicitors Regulatory Authority ("SRA") had found that the arrangement breached its rules in that it effectively amounted to an ABS. As a consequence, Optima Legal Services Lead Litigation and Property Partners, Philip Robinson and Anthony Ruane respectively were both severely reprimanded by the SRA for what was found to be professional misconduct and only narrowly avoided referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and Adrian Lamb, former CEO of Optima Legal Services Limited, left the business in June 2010.
In January 2015, Capita acquired Constructionline outright from BIS for £35m.
In June 2014 it was reported that at least five of eight Liverpool NHS Trusts which had contracted their payroll and recruitment to Capita in 2012 were withdrawing because of concerns about the quality of the service provided. Several NHS trusts contracted with the company for human resources services. West London Mental Health NHS Trust cancelled their contract in September 2014 after the company proved "unable to meet acceptable ‘time to hire’ targets", particularly for nurses. At the same time Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust terminated their contracts.
In November Mersey Care Trust revealed that "information governance issues" had been uncovered when the services were taken back in house. Details of staff at other Merseyside trusts were sent to Liverpool Community Health Trust’s HR department.
The company was awarded a 4-year contract to become sole provider of administrative services including payment administration, management of medical records and eligibility lists of practitioners for GPs, opticians and dentists across the UK by NHS England in June 2015. In July 2016 it was reported that there was “a large backlog of unprocessed correspondence relating to patients”. It was earlier reported that the company was unable to deal “effectively” with the movement of paper records between practices.
In 2015, an undercover Daily Telegraph investigation showed that in some cases locum agencies, Medicare and Team24 owned by Capita were charging some hospitals higher fees than others and giving false company details. The agencies were charging up to 49% of the fee. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt criticised agencies who sought “big profits” at the expense of the NHS and taxpayers and promised to “reduce the margins rip-off agencies are able to generate.”
The company took over Primary Care Services England service provision in September 2015. The new service was described as shambolic by the Local Optical Committee Support Unit and the Optical Confederation. A deal was negotiated to enable optician practices to claim interest, administrative costs and bank charges on late payments of General Ophthalmic Services fees by Capita. In August 2016 a survey of GPs found 85% were missing records of recently registered patients, 65% had experienced shortages of clinical supplies or delays in deliveries, and 32% had suffered from missed or delayed payments. Delays in the payment of GP trainees’ salaries were also reported.
- SIMS.net – Schools Information Management Software a Management information system used in 70% of primary and secondary schools across England and Wales to record many aspects of pupil data. In March 2009, Capita SIMS was said to be responsible for sending a truancy warning notice to the family of a Cheshire school pupil who had died two months before. SIMS also links with Capita One (through a process called B2B), which is a database used within Local Education Authorities for general analysis and overview of pupil and school data.
- Individual Learning Account – A £290million scheme intended to give financial support to adult learners that was opened in 2000 and scrapped in 2001 following widespread and massive fraud.
- Connexions Card – A £109million scheme that involved issuing 16- to 19-year-olds with smart cards that recorded their lesson attendance and rewarded them with discounts on consumer goods. It ran from 2002 until it was terminated in 2006 owing to lack of uptake.
- Education Maintenance Allowance for the Learning and Skills Council
- Capita Education Resourcing - Capita Education Resourcing is an education recruitment specialist with a large networks of schools, colleges and nurseries across England and Wales. They have 19 offices covering teaching jobs operating throughout the UK.
In 2014, Capita were awarded the contract to introduce postcodes to the Republic of Ireland. The Irish communications minister has welcomed the implementation saying that the Irish code is the first in the world to be unique to each individual address. The scheme was launched in July 2015.
The emergency services have expressed concern that the new system may lead to responders having difficulty getting to incidents. Further, the Irish Data Protection Authority has raised concerns over the design of the code as information about individuals will be made more accessible. Liam Duggan, CEO of Capita Ireland stated at a Government enquiry in 2014 that they had thoroughly tested the new system for unsuitable words and even used a game of Scrabble for this purpose.
The project is generally running to programme and budget unlike many other Government information technology projects: roll out, which was originally planned to start in March 2015, will now take place in "mid-2015" and the cost, which was originally budgeted at €25 million has increased to €27 million.
The Company's results are as follows:
|Year||People||Turnover (£ million)||Pre-tax profit (£ million)|
Capita Group has not been received well by the public and in the media. It has gained the nickname "Crapita", particularly from the coverage in the satirical and current affairs magazine Private Eye, which routinely documents the company's many failures and setbacks in the public sector.
Pindar himself has attracted criticism for complaining about being called a 'fat cat', receiving a £770,000 per annum salary and driving around in an Aston Martin DB9. "It really takes the biscuit—especially when you consider his workers are fighting for a rise equivalent to just four pints of milk a week", said a workers' representative. The average Capita employee salary at the time was £28,000 per year.
It was revealed in January 2013 that Capita was embroiled in a scandal over misinforming people that they had to leave the U.K. as they had no valid visa. One such person was in fact the holder of a U.K. passport.
In 2014, a leak to The Guardian revealed that the DWP had to send civil servants in to help the company process personal independence payments for the seriously ill and the disabled. "Waiting times for assessment," the newspaper noted, "have been so long that in some cases people with terminal conditions have died before receiving a penny."
The 2015 sale of a government research operation charged with overlooking food safety to Capita has been criticized by Tim Lang, an advisor to the U.K. government and the WHO on food safety issues. Arguing that a for-profit operation will be under pressure to ignore low-paying projects vital to public safety and the environment, he indicates that there is no profit in public research concerning food and biodiversity or food and pesticide residues, and predicts "commercial concerns will skew Fera's priorities"
Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron questioned how Atos and Capita could have been paid over £500m from tax payers money for assessing fitness to work as 61% who appealed won their appeals. Farron stated, “This adds to the suspicion that these companies are just driven by a profit motive, and the incentive is to get the assessments done, but not necessarily to get the assessments right. They are the ugly face of business.”
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- Lyndsey Telford; Claire Newell; Edward Malnick; Luke Heighton (22 Dec 2015). "NHS hit by locum agency nurses' pay scandal". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
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- Private firms earn £500m from government's fit-to-work scheme The Guardian