The One Barnet project is (we are lead to believe) supposed to deliver ocst reductions and generate revenue for Barnet Council. For any project with a contract value of £1 billion, there should be a sound business case and a thorough analysis of alternatives. This is a huge sum of money.
The Barnet Eye has been informed by inside sources that certain items within the business case would not stand up to scrutiny. In short, the figures may have been "sexed up". This is a very serious charge and one which would be extremely easy to prove or disprove. All the council has to do is to invite the Audit committee to review the business case and challange any unsupported assertions. I been told that a review of source documenation will demonstrate a degree of unsafeness in the information within the business case. The Barnet Eye would like to see an independent external auditor review the business case and report back to the audit committee. For a project of this size, this would surely be a wise piece of due diligence. I cannot see any grounds for such a step being undertaken. The audit must also consider the alternative strategies for cost savings, along with a full risk analysis of all strategies for delivering cost reductions.
I also call on Barnet's political Leadership to urgently set up a whistle blowing procedure, which offers protection for staff who uncover information which their superiors want suppressed. I also urge the CEO, Mr Nick Walkley to address a situation where his staff will speak to the Barnet Eye about their concerns, but not to the Leader of the Council. Mr Walkley may be supremely confident that the One Barnet program has a copper bottomed business case. In this case, why are we not permitted to see ALL of the information?