Government refuses to say who benefited from ‘high-priority’ channel for contract awards

The government has refused to publish a list of companies that benefited from being put in the ‘high-priority’ lane for Covid-19 contract work. It has also refused to reveal who were the individuals that recommended the companies be put in that lane.

The ‘high-priority’ lane was revealed by the National Audit Office in its report published at the end of November about procurement of PPE during the pandemic. Companies were put in this lane if they had been recommended by government ministers, ministers’ offices, MPs and members of the House of Lords, senior NHS staff and other health professionals.  The NAO found that about one in ten suppliers processed through this high-priority lane obtained contracts compared to less than one in a hundred suppliers that came through the ordinary lane. 

Full story in The Lowdown, 7 December 2020

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