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"[Barnet Council Audit Committee chair and noble Lord,] Lord Monroe Palmer moved to the MetPro Audit Report's recommendations, repeating his view that the report made:
"Devastating reading ... Horrendous . [I hope] we don't have to wait for the public, for the bloggers, to tell us, before another report like this had to be presented."
[We note: Barnet has paid £1.4-million over five years, without any contract at any time, to a largely-illegally-unregistered security company, MetPro Rapid Response Limited, which went into liquidation earlier this year, owing 'hundreds of thousands of pounds', to be replaced by a new company, MetPro Emergency Response Limited, which the Council started and continued to pay, again without any tendering or contract whatsoever.
This company also made illicit video recordings of the public attending council meetings, within Hendon Town Hall (where the Pinkham Way protesters were called 'a rabble', by the way).]
"Barnet Council's Chief Executive thought the problem, guess what:
"Says something profound about the [London Borough of Barnet] culture."
"Yes, Mr Walkley: it speaks of a culture of decadence and failure, incompetence and corruption.
"The trouble is that Captain Pugwash and his hapless crew ... are insisting on taking the listing vessel out onto the high seas, of massive outsourcing of public services, in the meanwhile, seaworthy or not ...
"Lord Palmer again raised the question of potential fraud. This was neatly deflected by Jeff Lustig, Director of Corporate Governance, by a mention of the 'Corporate Fraud Team'. Will we ever hear any more, I wonder?"
More material is at 'Barnet Eye'.
Edited by 'Pinkham Way Incinerator'.
More about the 'Barnet Blogsphere':
"Easy council" scandal puts Town Hall outsourcing reforms in the spotlight.
Investigations by local bloggers uncovered serious contract irregularities at a flagship Tory council. The case may have wider implications for public service reform.
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