Does MetPro audit go far enough? ask residents in Barnet

�Liberal Lord Monroe Palmer has defended the internal audit into Barnet Council’s MetPro fiasco, promising it will be “professional” and “far-reaching”.

But residents, councillors and bloggers are frustrated that Tory Barnet Council will not have an independent inquiry into the security firm’s appointment after revelations of secret filming and lack of accreditation.

The leader of the Labour group, influential bloggers from Barnet and many residents have demanded a full inquiry – but Conservative councillors blocked the move.

Instead the issues will be dealt with in an internal audit led by Liberal councillor Lord Monroe Palmer.

Lord Palmer said the audit committee would not just look into the finance of the contract, but would also report on the way in which the contract was procured, the amount of money MetPro was paid, who was responsible for engaging the company and who failed to make the appropriate checks on their accreditation. He said: “I am extremely concerned that whatever we find will be put into the public domain – and anything we don’t find, any knowledge that the council did not keep information about certain things, will also be put into the public domain.”

However, John Dix, a Barnet blogger is infuriated that the MetPro scandal will not be subject to a full independent inquiry.

He said: “It seems no-one in a position of power is in the slightest bit interested as to how the council could pay over a million pounds to a company which was operating illegally.”