You may remember Crisp Websites Limited, trading as PestFix, the company with last reported net assets of £18,047.
On the 10th June, we sent a judicial review pre-action protocol letter to the Government asking why they had agreed to pay 75% upfront for isolation suits worth £32m, to PestFix. PestFix had materially no assets, no experience in supplying PPE for use in a medical setting, and has since admitted supplying faulty facemasks. Along with EveryDoctor, we have issued judicial review proceedings and will have a hearing in late February.
Today we learned Government had awarded a further five PPE contracts to PestFix for £313.7m for facemasks, gloves, and gowns. Government was obliged to publish these details within 30 days of the award of the contracts but, although five of these six were awarded in April, it is only today, six months later, that it has finally complied with its legal obligations. And we know, from this written answer to a Parliamentary Question, that there are (at least) five more contracts awarded to PestFix still to be published.
Government’s choice of counterparty for a third of a billion pounds of public money defies all rational explanation. How - and why - was this lucky beneficiary of huge state largess chosen? And why is the Government so persistently, and unlawfully, late in coming clean?
With your support, we will continue to fight for transparency and accountability. Transparency over what contracts Government entered into - and why. And accountability if the evidence discloses wrongdoing.
Jolyon Maugham QC
Director of Good Law Project