A rushed Delegated Powers Report highlights the failure to properly administer the MetPro Contract. Amongst other things the report confirms the following:
- MetPro Emergency Response took over a contract and operated it without the council's knowledge - even though all the bloggers of Barnet, but particularly Mrs Angry, had flagged it up much earlier.
- The report states that MetPro Rapid Response went into liquidation on 15th March 2011 yet they missed all the signs that they were in trouble six months earlier when on 10 August 2010 MetPro were issued a notice for the company to be dissolved by Companies House. At that time the company's correspondence was being directed to the insolvency specialists Bond Partners LLP.
- The report identifies that Blue 9 Security, the company who have taken over from MetPro, are actually cheaper than MetPro - so why on earth wasn't that picked up earlier? Perhaps it could have saved us some of the £1.2 million Barnet are supposed to have paid MetPro.
The Delegated Powers Report suggests this whole process was badly managed yet there will be no public inquiry. The report also states:
Section 5.7 of the council’s Contract Procedure Rules provides the delegated powers for Directors to take decisions on urgent or emergency matters. These decisions can also include the waiver of Contract Procedure Rules where justified. The justification in this case is contained in Section 5.8.2 of Contract Procedure Rules ‘the contract is for works, supplies or services that are required in circumstances of extreme urgency that could not reasonably have been foreseen.’
Strange then that at last night's council meeting the Labour emergency motion to discuss this matter was voted down because it was not urgent. This is a most serious matter, it runs to the heart of how contracts are managed at Barnet. With a massive outsourcing programme already commenced it is critical that the whole process of how contracts are managed needs to be examined now. We need a public inquiry now. An internal audit as is being proposed, will simply look like a cover up.