Sunday, 19 June 2011

Proof, were it needed, that the world has gone barking mad

Dexter Whitfield (that's Professor Whitfield to you, councillor Rams) was on "File on Four" on Radio 4 today, detailing his research into the super-profits made on PFI schemes.

Dexter's organisation, the European Services Strategy Unit, has also produced more than 30 papers exposing the problems with Barnet council's One Barnet (mass outsourcing) Programme.

This week, Barnet council's audit committee discussed its scathing report into the MetPro scandal, and the no less scandalous Internal Audit Annual Opinion on the council - "a shocking report", in the words of one of the independent members of the committee. 72% of the areas examined had performance below satisfactory. (And an accountant friend of mine tells me that, in any case, satisfactory would be nothing to boast about.)

But what Barnet story grabs the headlines? What makes national lunchtime news today? A piece of fluff about Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon - my MP, as it happens - claiming that the House of Commons has breached his human rights by not letting him take his dog to work.

Although Offord risks looking stupid by making such a fuss, the real laugh, unfortunately, is on us. We've got real problems here in this borough, but we can't seem to rise above the level of farce.

P.S. Those critical audit committee reports are available here.

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