Scrutiny of £10bn Covid contracts awarded without competitive tender

The FT reports that the UK government has awarded £10bn worth of contracts related to the coronavirus crisis to private companies since March, mostly without a competitive tender. The research by Tussell, found a total of 843 Covid-19 deals have been handed out by the government, although some agreements have yet to be published.

Experts questioned whether the government should now be ensuring more contracts are put out to competitive tender to try to ensure value for money for the taxpayer. Many of the 843 contracts were signed at speed by the government to secure goods and services, ranging from the purchase of medical equipment to administering coronavirus tests and advising civil servants, said Tussell. More than two-thirds of the £10bn was spent on products and supplies, including tests, personal protective equipment for health workers, and drugs for patients suffering from Covid-19.

Full story in The Financial Times, 12 October 2020

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