A LABOUR councillor says Barnet council should back down on plans to sell-off services after a recent contract management blunder.

In a damning audit committee review it was revealed the council ignored its own rules by employing unlicensed security firm MetPro without a formal contract.

The report, written by the council’s assistant director of finance Maryellen Salter, revealed there had been no checks on the now bankrupt firm’s financial status, its insurance or criminal records of staff.

Cllr Alison Moore said this is a systematic failure in contract procurement and monitoring in Barnet but warned this is not a one-off mistake.

She said: “MetPro is not an isolated incident – serious procurement and finance regulation failures have also been identified in the past – who can forget the £27.4m that was lost in Icelandic Banks after proper procedures weren’t followed, or the £12m overspend in the Aerodrome Road bridge replacement project caused by poor procurement of contracts.

“The Tories in Barnet have presided over a catalogue of disaster, which does not give any confidence in their ability to procure and monitor large scale contracts proposed in the easyCouncil privatisation programme.

“The plug should be pulled on any outsourcing plans as this Conservative Council just do not seem to know what they are doing.”