NAO report reveals PPE suppliers with political ties given ‘high-priority’ status

A report from the National Audit Office has found that supplier of PPE suppliers with political connections were directed to a “high-priority” channel for UK government contracts where bids were 10 times more likely to be successful.

Almost 500 suppliers with links to politicians or senior officials were referred to the channel, where their pitches for contracts were automatically treated as credible by government officials charged with procuring PPE.

The existence of the channel, a highly unusual departure from standard procurement practice, is documented in the report by the NAO, which reveals the UK government awarded £18bn of coronavirus–related contracts during the first six months of the pandemic.

Full story in The Guardian, 18 November 2020

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