Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Full Inquiry' into Met Chief and ?3M Contracts

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Full Inquiry' into Met Chief and ?3M Contracts

Article excerpt

Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT

MET Commissioner Sir Ian Blair is facing a humiliating full-scale inquiry into how a close friend won ?3 million of contracts from Scotland Yard. A chief constable from an outside force is expected to be called in to examine how Sir Ian's skiing companion Andy Miller was awarded a series of deals with the Met. Members of the Metropolitan Police Authority's professional standards committee were meeting in emergency session this morning to consider how to proceed with the issue.

They were examining a secret report from the MPA's internal auditors into Sir Ian's role in the awarding of a ?150,00 contract to Impact Plus, a Twickenham-based firm owned at the time by Mr Miller. The company was awarded a total of ?3 million of police contracts by the Met over six years. There is serious concern over Sir Ian's role in the affair after it emerged that despite admitting his friendship with Mr Miller he went on to sit on a tender panel that considered the bids. Last week it also emerged that Mr Miller's firm won the first contract in 2002 even though the rival bidder offered to do the same work for a third of the price. There are also claims that the businessman carried out work for Surrey Police when Sir Ian was chief constable there between 1998 and 2000. One MPA member told the Evening Standard: "

There is no doubt that there are serious questions to be asked about Sir Ian's judgment and his integrity. This was poor decision-making by the Commissioner, a terrible judgment. "You do not first declare that your friend is in charge of one of the companies because you want to keep it all above board and then go and sit on the tender panel." Senior figures in the MPA are calling for an external investigation, possibly by a chief constable. Insiders say this is being strongly resisted by senior officers at Scotland Yard who want the matter dealt with by internal auditors. …

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