Fight for transparency

 
The High Court has now ruled “The Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy” and that “there is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the Secretary of State breached his legal obligation to publish Contract Award Notices within 30 days of the award of contracts.”

The law is clear, mandatory and unconditional: regulation 50 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 gives Government 30 days to publish details of contracts. But Government is routinely ignoring the law.

Together with a cross-party group of MPs – Caroline Lucas (Green), Debbie Abrahams (Labour) and Layla Moran (LibDem) – we have launched legal action against Government for its persistent and unlawful failure to disclose details of COVID-related contracts. You can read the pre-action protocol letter here.

We have instructed Deighton Pierce Glynn, Jason Coppel QC and Christopher Knight to try and secure transparency in the public interest. They will work at considerably below market rates.

Timeline:
6th October 2020: Witness Statement of Debbie Abrahams MP: available here
6th October 2020: Witness Statement of Caroline Lucas MP: available here
6th October 2020: Witness Statement of Layla Moran MP: available here
7th October 2020: Court bundle: available here
30th October 2020: Defendant's Summary Grounds of Resistance: available here
26th November 2020: Detailed Grounds of Resistance : available here
9th December 2020: Draft Consent Order extending case management directions to 11 January 2021: available here
11th January 2021: Claimants' N244 Application Notice: available here
11th January 2021: Second Witness Statement of Jolyon Maugham QC: available here
27th January 2021: Email evidence: available here, here, here, and here
28th January 2021: Skeleton argument: available here
2nd February 2021: Claimants' Statement of Costs: available here
2nd February 2021: Defendant's Skeleton Argument: available here
3rd February 2021: Summary of hearing: available here
19th February 2021: High Court Judgment: available here

Previous Updates

Failure to publish

Last night’s Panorama gave us the extraordinary tale of a dog food supplier turned PPE broker bagging herself millions acting as a ‘bridge’ for a Hong Kong supplier. Details of the largest contract – worth…

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BREAKING: Court Order shows Boris Johnson misled Parliament over Covid contracts

3 days after the High Court ruled Government had acted unlawfully by failing to publish Covid contracts, Boris Johnson stood up in the House of Commons and reassured MPs and the public that all Covid-related…

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The judgment is in

The High Court has ruled “The Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy” and that “there is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the Secretary…

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Civil servants were asked to break the law for the convenience of No. 10 special advisers

Emails read to the High Court yesterday showed that civil servants in the Department of Health and Social Care were asked unlawfully to delay meeting their obligations to publish procurement contracts to meet the convenience…

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Government in breach of the law

Yesterday in open court, lawyers acting on behalf of Government admitted it had breached the law by persistently failing to publish details of COVID-19 contracts. 
Not only were they knowingly in breach of the law, but…

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Buying injustice

Tomorrow sees our legal challenge for Government’s failure to disclose details of COVID-19-related contracts. The case is being brought by Good Law Project along with a cross-party group of MPs – Caroline Lucas (Green), Debbie…

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They cannot evade scrutiny in the courts

The UK now has the highest COVID-19 death rate per capita of anywhere in the world. As we try and make sense of how we got our response so wretchedly wrong, just how significant will…

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Permission granted – we’re going to court

Back in August, we announced that together with a cross-party group of MPs – Caroline Lucas (Green), Debbie Abrahams (Labour) and Layla Moran (LibDem) – we were launching legal action against Government for its persistent…

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Unpublished COVID-19 contracts

Our challenge to Government’s decision to hide COVID-19 spending has led it to disclose that the Department of Health has handed £17 billion worth of COVID-19 contracts to private companies since April. Fresh analysis by…

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They’re keeping us in the dark

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….

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