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  • Government corruption in awarding Covid PPE contracts
  • Premier Icon eskay
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    I donated last weekend

    Premier Icon cheddarchallenged
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    Isn’t it the case that The Department of Health and NHS supply chain both procured the PPE?

    Ministers don’t sign generally off individual procurements – civil servants have the delegated decision rights to do this.

    So are we all saying that individual Civil Servants and executives in the NHS / agencies were all on the take? Where is that actual evidence?

    Premier Icon frankconway
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    I believe contracts were let by a ‘cell’ within the cabinet office; cummings domain – what a surprise

    Premier Icon sgn23
    Free Member

    There were some more PPE contracts published yesterday with similar strange goings on. PPE Medro was incorporated in May and then awarded a £122M PPE contract for gowns. They are based in a modest residential house in Cambridge. Rob Knott (@procure4health on Twitter) is a good source for factual detail about this. All of these contracts avoided the normal procurement checks and balances.

    The Good Law Project is continuing to seek a judicial review of Ayanda Capital’s contract for £160M of unusable face masks, that’s likely to have made the company £50M profit. This company is connected to Liz Truss Secretary of State for International Trade.
    Rushanara Ali MP is also asking some probing questions.

    This all stinks of corruption. More people need to be shouting about it.

    Premier Icon ctk
    Full Member

    This really sheds light on how biased our media is.

    Lets be fair this is a massive scandal but also a juicy as **** story!

    Why isn’t this getting the same coverage as the expenses scandal?

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    So are we all saying that individual Civil Servants and executives in the NHS / agencies were all on the take?

    No, we’re saying that they didn’t make the decisions. You’re are right to identify who would normally be involved in the decision making, but the normal process was circumvented (with arguably good reason) by people who are absolutely untrustworthy and inclined to follow their own gut feeling and use their own connections. Experts… bah! Anyone who knows a reasonably senior civil servant knows they are in a “do as you are told or your career is over” position.

    Premier Icon sgn23
    Free Member

    Another £122M PPE uncontested contract awarded to PPE Medpro a newly established company with no prior experience and close links to the Tories.
    Keep questioning people. We’re being exploited.

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18780543.government-awarded-urgent-ppe-contract-firm-run-ex-associate-tory-peer-michelle-mone/

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    House of Commons debate Wednesday:

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    Legal options still being pursued:

    Premier Icon eskay
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    Email received from The Good Law Project this morning below. Like I said up there, if you feel strongly about this and can donate then please do so.

    The Government is keeping billions of pounds worth of COVID-19 contracts hidden from view. We know that the Department of Health and Social Care has awarded more than £11billion worth of contracts to private companies. Yet they have failed to publish the details of contracts worth more than £3billion. What has that money been spent on? Who has it been spent with?

    The law requires the Government to publish details of contracts within 30 days of the award. The Government’s persistent failure to abide by this law makes it impossible for these contracts to be properly scrutinized.

    The contracts that we do know about are serious cause for concern. Take PestFix. The company, which had no previous experience providing PPE to the NHS, has been awarded eleven contracts. But so far the Government has only published the details of one. The fact that the pest control specialists had to recall face masks they had supplied to other commercial clients suggests the Government may have good reason for wanting to keep the public in the dark on these particular contracts.

    But we cannot allow the Government to evade scrutiny. That’s why, along with a cross-party group of MPs of Debbie Abrahams, Caroline Lucas and Laya Moran, we are suing the Government for their persistent failure to publish the details of contracts.

    The law can be a powerful tool for accountability. We intend to use it to keep those in power honest.

    Thank you,

    Jolyon Maugham QC
    Director of Good Law Project

    Premier Icon beiciwr64
    Free Member

    From the BMJ

    “When good science is suppressed by the medical-political complex, people die”

    https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    The Government is keeping billions of pounds worth of COVID-19 contracts hidden from view. We know that the Department of Health and Social Care has awarded more than £11billion worth of contracts to private companies. Yet they have failed to publish the details of contracts worth more than £3billion. What has that money been spent on? Who has it been spent with?

    I suppose the other side of this will be the company’s themselves, anyone reporting a bumper Q2/Q3 2020 even vaguely connected to the medical supply or logistics world might well be a recipient of a dodgy contract from Gove or Handjob…

    Anything new made it into the public sphere this week? Dom’s departure may well be just another dead cat to distract from some obvious bungs to chums…

    Premier Icon frankconway
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    Not exactly corruption but still eye opening…
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54974373

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    £21 million? A bargain.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
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    £21million was the commission paid to an intermediary for a £200m contract. Under normal government procurement rules with an open book on some of the contracts I worked on, they’d positively wet themselves if you tried to charge that amount in profit – that’s the commission, never mind the gross margin on the product itself. I think a lot of these contacts were handled by the Cabinet Office, not DH&SC.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    I was being sarcastic.

    Premier Icon dissonance
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    £21 million? A bargain.

    To get the best you have to pay for the best.

    Premier Icon frankconway
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    dovebiker, your post underscores the need for transparency.
    Starmer touched on iffy contract awards during last week’s PMQs; how long before he returns to it?
    I believe the gov are committed to fully integrating the OJEU procurement regs into UK law when transition ends so the requirement to disclose and publish contract award details will remain unchanged.
    It’s generally accepted that public sector procurement performance lags some way behind private sector but surely someone asked for a full cost breakdown – ex works price for each product type, shipping, taxes/duties, margin, other fees/charges.
    It would appear not.
    Amateur hour – again.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    Premier Icon frankconway
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    Moving 1,000 containers of PPE in a week from Felixstowe to an old airfield and fields; making space for new deliveries?
    https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ppe-moved-to-suffolk-airfields-1-6931841

    First sentence in recent Guardian article…

    ‘Retailers are warning a logjam at the country’s biggest container port could result in product shortages this Christmas, as it emerged 11,000 containers of government-procured PPE is clogging up Felixstowe

    Full article https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/nov/14/shops-warn-of-christmas-stock-shortages-as-ppe-shipments-clog-key-uk-port

    Based on recent (high) PPE usage, the current stockpile is >5years worth of cover; this stuff has max shelf life of 5 years from date of manufacture so…write-offs coming – at NHS cost.

    Premier Icon white101
    Full Member

    ‘We can’t support people financially who have just started their own business, HMRC make the rules not us’ Alok Sharma on GMB this morning discussing furlough scheme

    3 week old companies being given £21m handling fee

    Premier Icon Rich_s
    Free Member

    this stuff has max shelf life of 5 years from date of manufacture so…write-offs coming – at NHS cost.

    Just been told that the inbound stockpile is so large, and time-restricted, that it’s being offered to the care sector gratis. Which is having an immediate impact on every existing ppe supplier in the country… Being put out of business by your own government is a pretty special way to go.

    Premier Icon frankconway
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    Rich_s, if you’re right then the recent focus on developing domestic PPE suppliers will have been largely a waste of time and effort.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    This story was depressingly low down the BBC news priority earlier this evening

    Premier Icon reformedfatty
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    Do you think enough ppe would have made it through without emergency procurement measures?

    If not, how much is an acceptable risk?

    There are plenty of companies who had no previous ppe or ventilator experience who managed to deliver, so no experience isn’t a definitive test. There are also new companies that successfully delivered, so that’s not a definitive test either.

    https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/every-uk-manufacturers-helping-to-produce-ppe-and-equipment-for-nhs-workers/

    It’s obviously not good that money has been spent badly, but if the government followed the restrictions posters here think we should have, we wouldn’t have got enough ppe, so pick your preferred outcome…

    Premier Icon torsoinalake
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    There’s emergency procurement measures and then there’s blatantly handing out money to your connections.

    Premier Icon white101
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    Oh well, here’s another scandal that’s been dead catted this morning on the TV networks with news of some money for the MOD.

    Premier Icon intheborders
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    The bit that’s annoyed me the most is listening to people with no idea whatsoever of logistics, talk about logistics.

    Right from the beginning the key failure was the Govt failure to plan for a pandemic (because they ignored the findings of their own contingency exercise).

    A ‘simple’ answer to the stock piling of limited-age goods is to use a consignment stock approach. Basically pay manufacturers/wholesalers etc to carry stock over & above their own needs, but for them to use it in their business. This way the stockpile stays in date AND there’s no waste as it’s been used & replenished constantly.

    It’s a method used since time began quite frankly and it is a damn sight cheaper than probably every other approach – plus the costs stay in the UK, along with the expenditure.

    And yes, I use to work in healthcare logistics 🙂

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    There’s emergency procurement measures and then there’s blatantly handing out money to your connections.

    I’m tempted to agree with reformedfatty, that at times like these the rules need to be reconsidered (within reason!) to deal with a situation. At the risk of being spitfires over Dover, I’m not aware of there being a huge risk assessment exercise before the small ships of Dunkirk set off…….

    And then I remember – Chris Grayling’s ferry company. The money being sent (and barely concealed) to Cummings’ mates for analytics and advice. Dido Harding, the MP’s wife in her next failed venture. And if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..

    [and even then I’m prepared to be charitable. Yes – we have received more PPE as a result of this ’emergency procurement exercise’ but at what cost in money and trust. I’m sure it’ll come out in the lessons learned review that will surely follow, given there’s nothing to hide]

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    And then I remember – Chris Grayling’s ferry company. The money being sent (and barely concealed) to Cummings’ mates for analytics and advice. Dido Harding, the MP’s wife in her next failed venture. And if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..

    Yes – I’m prepared to cut some slack for the emergency angle, but it wasn’t just Delboy type chancers lining their pockets, this is contacts of MPs and ministers.

    the key failure was the Govt failure to plan for a pandemic (because they ignored the findings of their own contingency exercise).

    Absolutely this. They chose to run down our pandemic preparations, despite their own risk tests showing the danger, over a 10 year period. The fundamental duty of a government is to protect the population, and this is the overarching thing that successive Tory government’s failed to do, leaving us with a bunch of incompetent idiots starting on the backfoot.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    ^ in itself I don’t have a problem with that if they can deliver to time, cost and quality. And if the owner makes a bit out of it, that’s the way the world works.

    But when the owner is a minister’s mate, and the kit sits in a warehouse because it isn’t what was ordered and isn’t safe to use, then questions get asked. Or not, apparently

    *not saying this firm above is one of them, there are some honest traders as well. Otherwise, how would they hide the grifters…..

    Premier Icon sgn23
    Free Member

    I see a few posts now on this thread saying that it was an emergency and we just had to get on and do it. I can see this argument too but it’s only when you look into things further that you start to see the massive incompetence (at best) or corruption (at worst).

    – Avoiding existing UK PPE manufacturers and suppliers
    – Significant contracts awarded to newly created companies without any PPE experience and links to the Conservative party
    – Shady ‘Fast track’ procurement process for VIPs (friends of MPs)
    – Government Procurement specialists side-lined in favour of Cabinet Office cronies
    – Lack of transparency of awarded contracts
    – Vastly overpaying, even above what the heightened market was paying at the time
    – PPE purchased that is unusable
    – Huge stock piles of excess inventory

    I’m not one to knock the government at any opportunity, but this stinks.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    Apologies for the paywall link:

    Premier Icon lightfighter762
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    My Company makes modern body armour for military and police units all over the world. Probably 250k Vests fielded. We turned some production over to masks and gowns. Up to 10 million quantity. I registered with the NHS and never heard a thing. Putting 1p on N95 masks and gowns for profit. Do the math on 10 million masks at 31p. 3 mil deal only. I guess the cheapest bidder loses.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    Are you, or are you related to, a Conservative politician or back room adviser?

    Premier Icon lightfighter762
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    Nah too busy overseas laying the smack on evil.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    Premier Icon frankconway
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    kelvin, your example ^^^stinks and appears to be typical of the gov’s attitude; inept, inadequate, incompetent and corrupt.

    There was a recent post suggesting that consignment stock was the answer; constock only works if the min & max stocks are defined and the supply chain is reliable.
    Neither were applicable in an ’emergency procurement’ situation.
    In an emergency or urgent supply situation any procurement or logistics professional would immediately turn to their existing, proven and trusted suppliers.
    That didn’t happen.
    I’ve banged on about how this in multiple previous posts.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    inept, inadequate, incompetent and corrupt.

    Needs some work but very nearly our next 3 part slogan 👍

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