Today, the National Audit Office has released a damning report into Government procurement practices. It confirms what we have been saying for months. Government failed to manage conflicts of interest, dished out public money to deeply unsuitable companies, and has improperly shied away from proper scrutiny.
A number of contracts that Good Law Project and EveryDoctor are challenging in court feature heavily, from the lobbying by a Government advisor to secure a huge PPE contract for Ayanda Capital, to the pest control specialist which was placed in a ‘VIP lane’ supposedly by mistake. Good Law Project first revealed the existence of VIP lanes last month, and the report confirms companies placed in the lane, often by ‘the private offices of ministers’, were more than ten times as likely to win a contract than other suppliers.
This report is a vindication of our litigation and it is only thanks to the support of thousands of you that we have been able to bring these cases. But the work doesn’t stop here and our latest legal challenge in relation to Government procurement is perhaps the most shocking yet.
Almost $50 million of taxpayers’ money went to one man. Not to supply PPE, because he didn’t. But to act as a go-between for a jeweller from Florida whom the UK Government selected to supply £250 million worth of PPE.
The Florida jeweller is called Michael Saiger. And from him we bought unfathomable amounts of PPE that the evidence suggests we didn’t need and at inexplicable prices. You can read more about it here. And if you’re in a position to to so, you can donate to the crowdfunded legal challenge.
But fundamentally our issue isn’t with the individuals and companies who made staggering profits from the pandemic. If Government is handing out free money wouldn’t you join the queue?
It’s the Government that has some serious explaining to do. And on behalf of all of those who pay taxes, and our children and grandchildren who will be paying off the debts this Government has accrued, we intend to get answers in court.
Jolyon Maugham QC
Director of Good Law Project