A COUNCILLOR has admitted the council needs to “tighten up” its contract management after it ignored its own rules by employing unlicensed security firm MetPro without a formal contract.

A damning audit committee review written by the council’s own assistant director of finance, said the failure exposed it to “significant” risks.

During an investigation, triggered after it was revealed residents were secretly filmed at March’s full council meeting, it was revealed there had been no checks on the now bankrupt firm’s financial status, its insurance, or criminal records of staff.

Author of the report, Maryellen Salter concludes the same problems could arise again due to the current lack of effective monitoring arrangements and an accurate and complete corporate contract register.

However, Barnet Council’s cabinet member for resources and performance Cllr Daniel Thomas said: “I know that contract management is an area we need to tighten up on which is exactly why we have this report.”

He said the council has been successful in delivering other services and it now needs to concentrate on resolving the problems highlighted in the audit review.

Cllr Thomas said: “Since we took office we have transformed many council services, our children’s service was recognised as outstanding last year, adult social services received the highest possible ratings last year as well.

“Our waste collection and street cleaning are now also generally excellent.

“We now need to put in place a clear programme of improvement to match those we ran in these other services".