More details of PPE fiasco that left hundreds of doctors and nurses dead are starting to emerge.
Whilst our EU partners were putting together emergency procurement arrangements in late January, it wasn’t until March that Government put together an emergency scheme to protect our doctors and nurses and care workers.
By then the global market for PPE had tightened considerably and Government was having to play catch up – ditching the normal rules that secure good value for public money and which guard against corruption in the process. On 27 March Government opened its portal inviting tenders for PPE on the gov.uk website and received 24,000 offers from 16,000 suppliers. It has spent – and this is the Treasury’s own figure – a staggering £15 billion. And, surprisingly, three of the biggest beneficiaries were companies specialising in pest control, a confectionery wholesaler and an opaque private fund owned through a tax haven.
Why? We do not know. And Government is not helping – it has ignored the usual rule that contracts should be published within 20 days.
But Good Law Project, working with EveryDoctor, means to find out. Our intention is to pursue judicial review claims in respect of the Pestfix, Clandeboye and Ayanda contracts. But we will keep these contracts under review – and we may substitute others if better examples emerge.
Litigation of this scale and importance is undeniably difficult and expensive. If you are able to support the legal challenge, you can do so here.
You can sign the petition to demand the Government publishes the PPE contracts here.
Good Law Project and EveryDoctor has instructed Rook Irwin Sweeney in this case. You can read correspondence with the Government Legal Department below:
10th June: We issued a Pre Action Protocol Letter over the Government’s decision to award a PPE contract to PestFix (available here)
16th June: We received an initial response from the Government: (available here)
17th June: We received further correspondence from the Government Legal Department, which stated the initial contract award notice had been issued ‘in error’: (available here)
1st July: Government Legal Department response: (available here)
3rd July: We received a response from Osborne Clark, who are instructed on behalf of PestFix: (available here)
15th July: We sent a letter to the Court (available here) filing an updated version of the Court Bundle: (available here)
29th June: We issued a Pre Action Protocol Letter over the Government’s decision to award a PPE contract to Clandeboye: (available here)
3rd July: We sent a letter to the Government Legal Department regarding Clandeboye: (available here)
13th July: We received a response from the Government Legal Department regarding Clandeboye: (available here)
17th July: We received a response from Kingsley Napley, who are instructed on behalf of Clandeboye:(available here)
21st July: The Government wrote to us to state that they had made an error in previous correspondence. 6 million gowns had not yet been delivered, rather than the 40,000 previously stated: (available here)
22nd July: We have issued proceedings: (available here)
13th July: We issued a Pre Action Protocol Letter over the Government’s decision to award a PPE contract to Ayanda: (available here)