Sunday, 11 October 2020

Pablo Escobar would be Jealous


Transparency and value for money in the way public funds are spent usually require state bodies to advertise any new contract over a certain value, and invite several bidders to compete. “Because of extreme urgency and in the interests of public health”, the government has dispensed with this requirement so that Covid-19 related deals could be signed “without competing or advertising the requirement.”


This has opened the door to a Covid-19 bonanza for some firms.


Serco have now ‘won’ over £1 billion to organise Covid-19 track and trace. There now needs to be a track and trace put in place to find out how they have managed to get this money without carrying out track and trace. 


I doubt that many readers can conceptualise what £1 billion means. In terms of time, 1 UK billion seconds = 32 years. In physical terms you would need 720 white vans to transport that amount in cash.


On a smaller scale Stroud Tory councillor Steve Dechan, who runs P14 Medical, a loss-making firm distributing medical devices, recently signed a £156 million deal to import PPE from China.

This follows the news that PR firm, Hanbury Strategy, founded by a Dominic Cummings ally, has been ‘awarded’ two Covid-related contracts for £900,000 to research “public attitudes and behaviours in relation to Covid-19”.

Topham Guerin, a communications company behind the Tory party’s 2019 digital campaign strategy, was given a £3 million contract to work on Covid-19 "messaging".

Public First, a consultancy firm owned by two friends of Cummings and Michael Gove, has been given nearly £1 million for Covid-related work.

Faculty, hired by Cummings for the Vote Leave campaign, is "conducting data modelling" for £3 million.


None of these ‘contracts’ went out for tender. 


This is what happens when you privatise the state and eviscerate local democracry. 


It is corruption on a scale that would make Pablo Escobar jealous.



You can find further information at Open Democracy HERE and HERE