Australian travel firm handed controversial Covid contract following call from person “close to” Boris Johnson

Brisbane-based firm Corporate Travel Management (CTM) has been awarded at least two lucrative Covid-related contracts by the UK Government. 

The first, awarded in March 2020, was to provide support repatriating UK citizens stranded around the globe, followed by another deal at the start of this year to coordinate the hotel quarantine programme – charging an eye-watering fee of £1,750 per person for a 10-day hotel stay. 

The Government has still not published either contract and basic information such as the contract value have not been disclosed. 

In a recent interview with the Financial Review, CTM founder Jamie Pherous let slip how the firm landed their first Covid contract, saying it started with calls from a person close to” Prime Minister Boris Johnson.They’ve just basically said. ‘We’ve got this problem. Can you solve it for us? We went, ‘Yeah, absolutely. Give us 12 hours.’”

CTM subsequently landed the second Government contract to provide hotel quarantine services – a deal that is shrouded in secrecy. When asked how much the hotel quarantine contract was worth and whether it had gone through a competitive tendering process, CTM told Huff Post: “As this is a Government and Covid matter, we kindly ask for all enquiries to be directed to the press office at the Department for Health and Social Care which looks after all matters Covid.”

Here’s what a DHSC spokesperson said about the hotel quarantine deal:

‘We have procured a Travel Management Company to oversee the individual contracts with hospitality companies.  This was done through an existing DHSC Enabling Agreement via a Crown Commercial Service framework’.

Help us dig deeper…

The Good Law Project intends to investigate how the contracts to CTM were awarded. If you have any information, tip offs or suggestions then we would be interested to hear from you. You can email our secure legal inbox at: [email protected] and we will of course protect your identity.


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