Saturday 1 May 2010
Expenses Scandal: The Silence is Deafening
As regular readers will recall, the Deputy Chief Executive of Barnet Council had promised to provide Don’t Call Me Dave with details of all councillors’ expenses since 2006 by 30th April. Well, 30th April came and went, but no details were received.
It has now been almost a year since the request for this information was first made and the council’s continuing failure to provide basic details - which should be available at the touch of a button - is worse than incompetent. It is nothing less than an absolute scandal.
The public are being asked to vote for new councillors next week without sufficient information upon which the existing councillors can be judged. Readers will decide for themselves whether this is a conspiracy or cock-up.
Council chiefs claims that they are committed to openness and transparency, but the evidence overwhelmingly proves the contrary. They talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk. Barnet has consistently failed to comply with its statutory obligations under the Freedom of Information Act. DCMD believes this is due to the obsessive culture of secrecy which permeates throughout every fibre of the council’s being. A culture which is not merely tolerated but actively encouraged by senior officers and leading Members.
DCMD will now request that the Information Commissioner carries out a thorough review of the council’s operations to ensure that, in future, Barnet obeys the law of the land.