After submitting a Freedom of Information request on the evening of the Council meeting back on the 1st of March I have been trying to understand who checked up on MetPro to see if they held the relevant SIA licence. On the evening my suspicions were aroused as the staff were not displaying their SIA licences which I know is a legal requirement. I asked how many of the staff were licensed. The response I received was that the council were assured they were all licensed. I then followed up this response with the questions: what proof did you have and did anybody check. The response I received this afternoon is damning:
I write in response to your follow-on request, received by us on 1 April
2011, for the following information:
1. "What proof did the council have that the Metpro officers at the
Council meeting of 1 March 2011 were SIA licensed?
2. What actions did the council take to check such officers were SIA
We have processed this request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Under the Act we should have responded within 20 working days, I apologise
for us not meeting this deadline.
After searching the council's records I confirm we hold no information
falling within your request. Council officers were assured prior to the
Council meeting that all Metpro staff were SIA licensed, but this was not
followed up formally in writing.
What mystifies me is that a simple check on the SIA website revealed to me on the evening of March 1st that Metpro were not SIA approved contractors and a quick check on Companies House Webcheck service showed that on 10 August 2010 Companies House had applied for a notice for MetPro to be struck off.
I intend to forward this information to Cllr Lord Palmer who is chairing the Audit Committee review into the Metpro affair. I hope this inquiry will be genuinely open and will take comments from residents.