Monday 13 July 2009

Freer’s problem that just won’t go away

The London Evening Standard has today reported on Mike Freer’s continuing problem in trying to blame the council’s decision to invest £27.4 million in failing Icelandic banks on anyone but himself.

According to the report:

More from Barnet, the council that blew £27.4 million of taxpayers' money on Icelandic banks. Council leader Mike Freer is hell-bent on a glittering career as a Tory MP, and is running for Lady Thatcher's old seat of Finchley and Golders Green, currently a Labour marginal.

But this niggling problem with Iceland just won't go away. Freer, a former banker at Barclays, squarely blames the council's treasury department for the howler. Deloitte has just completed a report broadly agreeing, but strongly arguing that the lack of monitoring of its work represented “a significant deficiency in internal control”. Barnet treasury had not been internally audited for years and had ignored a recommendation to appoint a monitoring officer. And Freer, as council leader, is blameless in all this?

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