‘VIP’ company paid £155million for PPE equipment – FIVE times the normal price
A ‘VIP’ firm was paid FIVE times the going rate for PPE equipment, it has been claimed.
The company, Ayanda Capital, was given “high priority” status for providing face masks in April.
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Ayanda Capital was given £155million to produce face masks – 5 times the going rate[/caption]
Fifty million masks were provided to the government at an eye-watering cost of £155 million – or £3.10 each.
However, at the same time average cost for a face covering, known as FFP2, at the end of April was only 60p.
But the firm’s boss Tim Horlick has insisted there was “no chumocracy” involved in signing the lucrative deal.
He said: “It was in fact in my view a very rigorous procurement process, so my conscience is absolutely clear.”
The masks provided by the firm were in line with the standard required but did not then meet the government’s PPE specifications at that time.
Pestfix were also awarded a contract for £59 million to provide 25 million masks in the middle of April just as coronavirus swept the country.
Again, the price paid at around that time by Ministers for facemasks was around 60p.
But a spokesman for Pestfix says: “The government were rigorous in their price checks, and PestFix delivered value-for-money to the taxpayer.”
The contracts with the two firms are subject to legal proceedings brought by the Good Law Project and Every Doctor.
Jolyon Maugham QC, Director of the Good Law Project said: “There are only two companies we know for certain went through the VIP channel.
“Both seem to have been paid hugely over the odds. The Government needs to come clean about who else got sweetheart deals.”
Labour shadow Cabinet Minister Rachel Reeves said: “Not only were these companies paid over the odds – in one case for unusable PPE – they were awarded these contracts at the height of the crisis when our NHS workers needed urgent, high quality PPE.
“The more we know about this Tory government’s incompetent procurement practices, the worse it gets.”
A spokesman for the Department for Health and Social Care said: “We have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE, delivering more than 4.9 billion items to the frontline so far.
“Almost 32 billion items have been ordered to provide a continuous supply, which will meet the future needs of health and social care staff.
“The outbreak of Covid-19 created a significant surge in demand in global markets, resulting in vast increases in the cost of PPE, increased competition and limited supply.
“Proper due diligence is carried out for all government contracts and we take these checks extremely seriously.”
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