At least Nick Walkley, the chief exec, has noticed there is an issue to address! I'm wondering, though, whether he'd have bothered at all if this story hadn't been starting to get into the London/national papers - p22 of the Evening Standard today, with probably more on the way.
But I don't think an internal audit will do enough. The council's statement said:
“Once the council was aware MetPro had gone into liquidation it terminated its contract, as is normal practice.What is the remit of the investigation? Will it take in all the issues raised by the Barnet bloggers? It needs to.
“Given the circumstances of the termination, the Chief Executive Nick Walkley has asked for a full audit of the arrangements surrounding this contract with MetPro.
“This will also make sure that any lessons learned will be passed on to the rest of the organisation.
"Any such report would go before the audit committee as part of its normal activity."
Frankly, there's a wider issue here of Barnet council's general competence. I think the fact that the council did not even know that MetPro were filming reveals incompetence. The council is about to contract with many more companies to deliver council services. This MetPro affair shines a harsh light on their lack of ability to do that well.
Just as with the MetPro case, residents will be the ones to suffer when these arrangements foul up.
I for one am not content with the internal audit as a means of getting to the bottom of this affair and "learning lessons". I will continue to call for an independent public inquiry. The biggest lesson it seems Barnet council needs to learn is humility: open the windows! Let the residents know what goes on in your world! Only a public inquiry can do that satisfactorily.