Capita, whose track record in terms of public image and sentiment lately could be described quite reasonably as “interesting”, has won a major contract for the Ministry of Defence in the UK.
The Financial Times is among those reporting the news, which will involve running the military’s fire and rescue service. This has never been in private hands before.
A number of sources who we’ll call the “usual suspects” have condemned the move. The Morning Star, for example, has started dismissing outsourcing as a racket overall, for example.
Meanwhile the FT points out that even as it signed this new contract the company was in front of a committee of MPs accounting for how a previous military contract and another in the National Health Service had gone so wrong.
On balance we believe that these failures, as long as the lessons are learned, are actually good things, albeit remarkably well-disguised good things. The first generation of a certain sort of contract was always going to be the one to discover the pitfalls; it’s the next generation of deals that will show whether the faults have been addressed.