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Misuse of taxpayer money accusations in UK COVID PPE procurement rort

UK COVID PPE rort news
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A report by the Good Law Project has exposed serious flaws in the UK government’s COVID PPE procurement process.

The UK government’s procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID ‘pandemic’ through a fast-track ‘VIP lane’ has raised questions of corruption.

The Good Law Project has revealed that nine companies were awarded contracts totaling £551 million for PPE, which later was found unusable for NHS purposes. These contracts accounted for over 37% of the total amount awarded to these firms.

The report also claims the companies benefited from political connections, which saw their profits skyrocket, with increases ranging from 500% to 9,000%.

Notably, Meller Designs, owned by Tory donor David Meller, secured contracts worth £163 million for medical equipment, with over £13.2 million in post-tax profits, a stark increase from the previous year. Similarly, Ayanda Capital, with no prior experience in supplying PPE, received a £252 million contract, resulting in a 2,600% profit increase. Another firm, Uniserve, obtained contracts over £300 million for PPE and a £573 million contract for freight services, marking a significant profit increase.

‘More than £8.4m worth of PPE delivered by Meller Designs was unsuitable for use in an NHS setting. Three of their six PPE contracts were signed at above-average prices, with markups of between 1.2 and 2.2 times,’ wrote the Good Law Project.

Ayanda Capital, owned by Tim Horlick and his family, and registered in the tax haven of Mauritius, ‘snagged a mammoth £252m contract to supply masks. The deal was brokered by Andrew Mills, who was an adviser at the same time both to the company and the Government’s Board of Trade.’

The revelations have sparked criticism over the apparent misuse of taxpayer money and the government’s handling of pandemic-related contracts, highlighting concerns about transparency and accountability in public procurement processes.

Image credit: Mathew Schwartz

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2 COMMENTS

  1. YES!, Many that retired from high government positions open contracting firms.
    Their cohorts still in government award them the contracts at elevated prices.
    It’s a legal racket.

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