Wednesday 13 July 2011

MetPro: urgent questions for councillors

Barnet bloggers have today sent the following questions to all Barnet councillors. We will be publishing the range of response, or lack of response, in due course, in order to facilitate a more accountable relationship between our elected representatives and the residents and tax payers of Broken Barnet.

13 July 2011

Dear Barnet Councillor,

Many Barnet residents have been disturbed by recent revelations that Barnet Council paid the MetPro security companies more than £1.4 million without making checks on the status of the company, or even having a contract.

The authors of the Barnet blogs, recently praised by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, for their work uncovering this scandal, are writing to you now to ask you to complete the survey below.

The results will be posted on our blogs to allow voters to see how seriously our councillors are taking their responsibilities. We will post the results ward by ward; we will also note non-response.

As councillors are accountable to the electorate, we think it is right and proper that you engage with the electorate and keep them informed of your views and opinions. This survey will help you to do that on a matter of keen public interest.


1. Are you aware of the issues concerning the MetPro security companies and Barnet Council? Yes / No

2. Are you satisfied that the Council has managed the issue properly?
Yes / No / Neither / Don’t know

3. Do you agree with the comments of Lord Palmer, chair of the Audit Committee, that Barnet Council’s Internal Audit is under resourced? Yes / No / Don’t know / No opinion

4. Have you personally spoken to the Leader of the Council about your views on the MetPro scandal? Yes / No / I am the Leader of the Council

5. Besides the MetPro scandal, do you believe that there are other serious problems with purchasing in Barnet Council? Yes / No / Don't know

6. Do you think a halt should be called to the One Barnet Programme while investigations continue and basic procedures in procurement and contract monitoring are improved?
Yes / No / Don’t know / No opinion

7. Do you believe that as a councillor you have a responsibility to prevent such scandals arising in future? Yes / No / Don’t know / No opinion

8. Have you read the internal audit report into the MetPro scandal? Yes / No

9. Are you happy with the decision to remove nine staff from Barnet Council’s procurement team, as proposed by Craig Cooper at the General Functions Committee on 30 June 2011?
Yes / No /
Don’t know / No opinion

Thank you for your time. We look forward to receiving your answers to these questions. Of course, we would be happy to hear any comments you would like to make on the matters raised.

Yours faithfully,

Derek Dishman, John Dix, Vicki Morris, Theresa Musgrove and Roger Tichborne

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