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Secretary of State Eric Pickles slams Barnet Council - and praises Barnet's Bloggers!

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Govermnent

Linkable version below:

@barnetbugle Barnet Bugle
@ericpickles slams easycouncil barnet for procurement fiasco and praises local bloggers for helping expose it #CIPFA2011 (via @Jamesillman)
Mentioned in this Tweet
EricPickles Eric Pickles · Follow
MP for Brentwood & Ongar
Jamesillman James Illman · Follow
Local Government Chronicle reporter covering all matters #localgov and #localism with a special interest in #localgov finance 

Updated 4.20pm:
Excerpt of Eric Pickles comment (courtesy James Sillman, Local Government Chronicle):

"I was shocked by a recent case in Barnet.

"The council had hired a private security firm, MetPro, which included 'keeping an eye' on the local armchair auditors and activist bloggers - at a cost of over a million pounds.

"The contract had been awarded without a tendering exercise, without a written contract, and no proper invoicing.

"An internal audit showed there 'serious deficiencies in current procurement arrangements', and there were no guarantees that against a repeat of such practices.

"Irony of ironies - this misuse of public money was uncovered thanks to the determination of local bloggers and activists…

"Including Barnet Eye. Mr Mustard. And Mrs Angry. (As she had every right to be)

"Exactly the same people MetPro snooped upon.

"I’ve got news for Barnet: Liveblogging from council meetings. Microjournalism. Call it what you like.

"It’s here to stay.”

(And no doubt that applies to the non-geographically-constituted local authority called...  the 'North London Waste Authority'.)

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