BARNET Council’s computers are at risk of failing and front line services could be affected, internal documents reveal.

The company charged with looking after the authority’s IT systems, 2e2, says all equipment has reached the end of its life and is refusing to take responsibility for any risk of it breaking down.

The council’s own paperwork acknowledges it is “heavily reliant” on computers and says there is a chance of “significant technology failures” if nothing is done.

A report obtained by Mill Hill resident Roger Tichborne, of Mill Way, under the Freedom of Information Act, says these could lead to front line services “not being delivered”.

It states: “The 2e2 contract was put in place to transfer the operational management and risk of core infrastructure to a private provider.

“2e2 no longer feel responsible for this and have passed all risks back to the council, on the basis that all equipment has reached end of life.”

The council has planned £3m of investment in new computers but the new hardware will be brought in gradually over three years.

The document also raises health and safety concerns, saying rooms used to house computers are at “significant risk” because the air conditioning and sprinkler systems are not functioning.

It also raises the possibility of rats chewing through cables, but the council has cast doubt on those elements of its own report.

The authority now says the rooms meet health and safety standards because they are protected by systems designed to put out fires using gas and have not shown any signs of risk from rats.

Councillor Daniel Thomas, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources and performance, said: “The council deals with issues and manages risk on a daily basis.

“I hope people understand that the way we do this is to identify these and take appropriate measures."