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UK Government are being challenged once again, it’s about Covid-19 contracts this time

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The Good Law Project has challenged the Government on its hiding of Covid-19 spending. The challenge led the Government to disclose that the Department of Health has given £17 billion worth of contracts to private companies since April. However, details about £4.4 billion of these Covid-19 contracts have not been published.

The Government are required by law to publish details of the contracts they award within 30 days, but the average amount of time taken by the Government is 78 days. The delay in publishing the details make it difficult for journalists, MPs, and lawyers to challenge the procurement choices.

Some of the contracts that have been published include:

  • Ayanda Capital who were awarded a £252 million contract to supply facemasks, most of which could not be used by the NHS. They are a politically connected company that were guided through the process by the Cabinet Office.
  • PPE Medpro who were awarded contracts worth £200 million. The £100 company was set up by a former business associate of Conservative peer Baroness Mone. The £200 million contract was awarded seven weeks after the company was set up.

In response to the legal challenge regarding transparency, the Government said it ‘should not be used for the transparent purpose of trying to use the judicial process to embarrass the government at a time of national crisis’.

The Good Law Project and MPs Caroline Lucas, Debbie Abrahams and Layla Moran are now seeking to challenge the Government through the courts for failing to publish contracts. They are awaiting court permission to proceed with the claim.

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