Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Barnet Council scandal latest : Finance Matters For Schools Limited

Following an investigation by the famous five local bloggers into activities at Barnet Council, we sent an open letter to Barnet Council on Monday. You can read this here (or on the other Barnet blogs) :-

We have received an update from Mr Nick Walkley, the CEO. He has confirmed that he considers the matter to be serious and that the Corporate anti fraud and HR teams are investigating. He has stated that as these investigations are in progress it would be inappropriate to comment further, which is quite proper and correct.

At the Cabinet meeting on Monday night, several councillors expressed their concern about the matter. I have also received emails from Barnet Council staff regarding the issue, expressing their concern at what has been happening.

It is high time that the Leadership of the council both political and executive face up to the fact that there are serious issues with the council. There are clearly fundamental issues of corporate governance. How on earth can they proceed with massive outsourcing programs, with contracts worth a billion pounds, when it is clear that tiny contracts cannot be properly be administered? I don't enjoy spending time forensically examining, but as none of the people who are paid to do the job seem to bother, someone has to in Barnet. The fact that a team of private individuals (the famous five bloggers) have now uncovered three massive three massive scandals to do with procurement, in less than a year, with nothing but obstruction from the council, tells you everything you need to know about why the One Barnet outsourcing project should be halted until the council has it's house in order.

The bloggers of Barnet call on Council Leader Richard Cornelius and CEO Nick Walkley to do the only logical thing and suspend the One Barnet program until the procurement and executive functions can be demonstrated to be fit for purpose. Anything else amounts to corporate negligence

1 comment:

Mr Mustard said...

There has been a lot of talk about the failure of senior executives to pay PAYE in central & local government and quangos but little has been said about the effect on the behaviour of staff. A good leader sets an example and junior staff around the country have been shown that it is OK to play ducks and drakes with the tax system so may have jumped to the conclusion that doubtful behaviour is acceptable.