Government Awarding of COVID-19 contracts to Cronies

PHILIPE

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There are a number of items highlighted in the Contact Tracing Thread regarding this topic but to avoid going off topic I am starting a new thread. Much of the detail has already been posted but to summarise I'll briefly re-post them here and leave them open for discussion.


(1) Government outsources everything missing out on experience. Serco despite many failures regularly being contracted including Track and Trace
(2) Appointed Dido Harding to lead Track and Trace although a failed CEO of TalkTalk. Strong links to Party and hubby an MP
(3) Still insisting their World Beating now over 2 months late is on track but insisting it can be tweaked and local knowledge could be used A local system was adopted in Blackburn and shown as having a better degree of success
(4) Awards a PPE Contract to an Offshore Private Equity Firm and tax avoiding company with a former Tory adviser at it's helm. Equipment turned out to be useless resulting in money down the drain.

Apart from these issues, Dominic Cummings and the PMs father were cleared of any wrong doing following a different interpretation of the Rules to clear them and concocted by the PM and his party.

There is a clamour for an Inquiry into how the Government has handled the crisis but the Government keep on putting one off. Hardly a surprise ?
 
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Yew

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There is a clamour for an Inquiry into how the Government has handled the crisis but the Government keep on putting one off. Hardly a surprise ?
The whole rationale for privatisation is the transfer of wealth into the hands of conservative party affiliates and donors. Companies like Serco have links to the Churchill Family, and even without these backhanders, always under-bid massive in government contracts to manipulate the system. And that's before we consider that under Tendering laws, we're not allowed to consider previous performance and convictions.
 

Djgr

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The whole rationale for privatisation is the transfer of wealth into the hands of conservative party affiliates and donors. Companies like Serco have links to the Churchill Family, and even without these backhanders, always under-bid massive in government contracts to manipulate the system. And that's before we consider that under Tendering laws, we're not allowed to consider previous performance and convictions.
And yet despite knowing all this, this is what the Great British Public vote for. Go figure!
 

farci

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"Why was £108m of public money paid to Crisp Websites Limited?
They purchased masks that don't work
The Government awarded a PPE contract worth £252 million to Ayanda Capital Limited, a ‘family office’ owned through a tax haven in Mauritius, with connections to Liz Truss"
If like me you are gobsmacked by this situation you can donate to The Good Law Project who have started legal action to challenge the Westminster Govt. Please follow this link:
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/108million/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Ayanda&utm_source=email
 
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PHILIPE

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"Why was £108m of public money paid to Crisp Websites Limited?
They purchased masks that don't work
The Government awarded a PPE contract worth £252 million to Ayanda Capital Limited, a ‘family office’ owned through a tax haven in Mauritius, with connections to Liz Truss"


If like me you are gobsmacked by this situation you can donate to The Good Law Project who have started legal action to challenge the Westminster Govt. Please follow this link:
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/108million/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Ayanda&utm_source=email
Greed and corruption before people's lives
 

PHILIPE

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If this is true, then it leaves a lot of food for thought so I'm posting it whether it can be believed or not. John Bercow could havd an axe to grind due to the refusal of his peerage.

This is an extract from a Facebook page.
From John Bercow’s page; read it. Read it all the way through. It’s mind blowing.
-------------------
I hope the Prime Minister is enjoying a well deserved rest so don’t spoil it by telling him what’s happened this week:
1. The govt launched a “Fix your bike” voucher website
2. It broke in less than an hour
3. The govt said we should all lose weight
4. The govt is still issuing vouchers to help us buy burgers
5. It was revealed the govt spent £400m buying a bankrupt satellite company, OneWeb, to replace the Euro GPS system we lose due to Brexit
6. Months before, a study by MIT found that OneWeb’s tech is 6x less efficient than the EU solution: the worst of the technologies studied
7. In June the govt merged the Dept for International Development into the Foreign Office, and said the move "guaranteed there would be no cuts in International Aid"
8. This week the gov cut International Aid by £2.9bn
9. And the govt quietly granted permission for your health records to be given to Palantir, a controversial data-mining company said to have worked with Cambridge Analytica on Brexit
10. It did both these things the day parliament broke up, so there couldn’t be any questions
11. But in answer to questions about the Russia Report, the gov’s suggested solution is to (I'm not making this up) to ask Russia to tell us who their spies are
12. Ex-Russian intelligence staff say 85% of their work is not spying, but “political funding and misinformation"
13. Which brings us to: Funding and Misinformation news
14. Since 2012, the Tory party has had almost £3m in donations from members of Putin’s cabinets
15. 14 current govt ministers have received donations from individuals or companies connected to the Russian leadership
16. Priti Patel said the Russia Report could be ignored because it was now 9 months old and “out of date”
17. The govt delayed the release of the report for 9 months, and the reasons given were described as “simply not true” (aka "misinformation") by the Intelligence Committee
18. Now Covid news, and Matt Hancock boasted he had met the targets on his “Six tests” on Covid 19
19. Full Fact found 4 of the 6 targets were missed, one target couldn’t be met because it had never been defined, and 1 “relied on a definition [that] does not reflect practice”
20. The cross-party Media & Culture Committee found that the gov’s support for arts was “vague and slow-coming” and “jeopardised UK culture”
21. The cross-party Public Accounts Committee found there was an “astonishing failure to plan for the economic impact” of Covid 19
22. It also said the policy of discharging patients into care homes was a “reckless and appalling policy error”
23. It called the govt “slow, inconsistent [and] negligent”
24. The chair of the Committee said “A competent government does not run a country on the hoof”
25. More on-the-hoof news: the gov quarantined tourists returning from Spain because Spain was a danger
26. The day before, Spain had 2 Covid deaths. Britain had 114
27. The transport secretary was on holiday in Spain, so was effectively trapped by his own dept’s decision
28. Which brings us to Brexit, and a report from London School of Economics showed a WTO Brexit will permanently shrink 16 out of the UK's 24 industry sectors by up to 15% each. Permanently.
29. A Tory MP tweeted “
WTO here we come!”
30. Another pro-Brexit Tory MP with a grasp of what's to come tweeted “my strong advice is: take the opportunity to live abroad”
31. Dominic Cummings tweeted that leaving the EU "could be an error”
32. And now PPE contracts, so prepare to begin eternal screaming:
33. £252m to Ayanda Capital, registered in Mauritius for tax purposes. PPE not delivered
34. £186m to Uniserve. PPE not delivered
35. £116m to P14 Medical Supplies, with assets of just £145. PPE not delivered
36. £108m to PestFix, with just 16 employees. PPE not delivered
37. £107m to Clandeboye Agencies, a sweet wholesaler. Yes, a sweet wholesaler. PPE not delivered.
38. £40m to Medicine Box Ltd, with assets of just £6000. PPE not delivered.
39. £48m to Initia Ventures Ltd, which registered itself as “dormant” in March. PPE not delivered.
40. £28m to Monarch Acoustics, which makes shop furniture. PPE not delivered
41. £25m to Luxe Lifestyle, which has no employees, no assets, and no turnover. PPE not delivered
42. £18m to Aventis Solutions, which has total assets of £332. Not a typo, £332. PPE not delivered
£10m to Medco Solutions, incorporated just 3 days after lockdown, with share capital of (not a typo) £2. PPE not delivered
44. In all, approx £1bn to inexplicable suppliers for PPE that hasn’t been delivered
45. The gov still polls well for economic competence. Go figure
46. Meanwhile a Nuffield Health study found after 10 years of "chronic underinvestment", UK is at the bottom of the league table for health resources; and diagnostics and surgery by the NHS will take 4 years to return to pre-Covid levels. But £1bn for non-existent PPE
47. The gov’s “world beating” test-and-trace programme was described as “scandalous” by the British Medical Journal, and found to miss its 80% target in every Covid hotspot announced this week
48. And finally, Boris Johnson refused a public enquiry into gov handling of Covid 19
Could be a wind up and revelations the Tories would wish to hide. The previous post says we got what we voted for but ppeople just couldn't, and rightly so, vote for Corbyn.
 
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brad465

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If this is true, then it leaves a lot of food for thought so I'm posting it whether it can be believed or not. John Bercow could havd an axe to grind due to the refusal of his peerage.

This...
From John Bercow’s page; read it. Read it all the way through. It’s mind blowing.
-------------------
That looks like one the "Week in Tory" editions Russ (@ Russ in Chesire) delivers on Twitter every week, which if it's on John Bercow's page means the news is getting around.
 

37424

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And yet despite knowing all this, this is what the Great British Public vote for. Go figure!
But the alternative was Corbyn with left wing union leaders pulling the strings neither were great options in my view.

The Government potentially giving contracts to cronies will surprise no one, some might say its almost expected.
 

PHILIPE

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But the alternative was Corbyn with left wing union leaders pulling the strings neither were great options in my view.

The Government potentially giving contracts to cronies will surprise no one, some might say its almost expected.
And Companies with potential skills offering to make PPE were being ignored
 

Djgr

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But the alternative was Corbyn with left wing union leaders pulling the strings neither were great options in my view.

The Government potentially giving contracts to cronies will surprise no one, some might say its almost expected.
You're not a Daily Mail reader are you ?!
 

brad465

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You're not a Daily Mail reader are you ?!
I'm not sure what you are trying to suggest, but if its that I get my view of left wingers and so called socialists from the Daily Mail then you would wrong.
It doesn't matter what political orientation one is, this behaviour is wrong, and the Good Law Project's case pursuit suggests potentially unlawful, which must be challenged by those who believe in rule of law (which should be everyone).

The problem is the tribal politics we now have means those who elected them won't hold them to account and just blindly accept whatever those they voted in believe.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Somebody will try and say Trenitalia, DB, NS and SNCF are Tory donors next, just because they have won rail franchises.
Or that Hitachi, Siemens and Alstom are Boris's "mates" for winning rolling stock contracts.
There may be underhand dealing somewhere, but that's why we have regulators, ombudsmen and MPs to hold them to account until the next election.
I supposed Labour never gave in to union pressure, at all? Plenty of MPs are sponsored by unions.
We are not run by a cleptocracy (yet).
 

Yew

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Serco seem to get an extraordinary number of public contracts, despite their fraud and failings, anyone would think their CEO is associated with the Tory party.
 

AdamWW

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Somebody will try and say Trenitalia, DB, NS and SNCF are Tory donors next, just because they have won rail franchises.
Or that Hitachi, Siemens and Alstom are Boris's "mates" for winning rolling stock contracts.
There may be underhand dealing somewhere, but that's why we have regulators, ombudsmen and MPs to hold them to account until the next election.
I supposed Labour never gave in to union pressure, at all? Plenty of MPs are sponsored by unions.
We are not run by a cleptocracy (yet).
Isn't the point that the above contracts were handled via EU tendering processes, whereas the COVID-19 contracts being referred to here bypassed the usual processes as they had to be awarded in a hurry?
 

Domh245

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And now for good measure, it seems Baroness Harding will be running PHE's replacement for the time being
Baroness Dido Harding, who runs NHS Test and Trace in England, is to be the interim chief of the government's new Health Protection Institute.

The agency - set to launch on Tuesday - will merge some of Public Health England's (PHE) pandemic response work with the coronavirus test and trace system.

Lady Harding will run the new institute until a permanent appointment is made.

PHE has come under intense scrutiny of its response to the coronavirus crisis.

It has been criticised for the controversial decision in March to halt community testing and tracing of contacts.

But its defenders say it is being made a scapegoat for failures elsewhere in the government.

For now, PHE will continue its role in combating obesity and running other measures to prevent ill health.

A leaked memo seen by the BBC, written by the head of PHE Duncan Selbie to staff, said the aim of the new National Institute for Health Protection was to boost expertise with "much needed new investment".

The new institute will begin work with immediate effect.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said the move to merge PHE's pandemic functions with those of NHS Test and Trace raised more questions than answers, including the timing of an announcement on the scrapping of a national public health agency in the midst of a global pandemic.

RSPH chief executive Christina Marriott said: "We recognise that there have been some serious challenges in terms of our response to Covid-19, including the timing of the lockdown, the ongoing ineffectiveness of Tier 2 Track and Trace and postcode-level data previously not being available to directors of public health."

She said "multiple lessons" needed to be learned "before solutions can be in place in advance of the winter", adding: "to do otherwise risks avoidable mistakes in subsequent waves of the pandemic which will only harm the public's health further."

PHE expertise is 'irreplaceable'
Prof Richard Tedder, visiting professor in medical virology at Imperial College London, defended PHE as an "assembly of some of the wisest and most committed microbiologists and epidemiologists you could hope for anywhere".

He criticised what he called the "persistent meddling from on-high", which he said had "disenfranchised and fractured" staff "to the great detriment of the UK as a whole".

Prof Tedder warned the plans to merge existing laboratory staff with NHS Test and Trace were "misplaced" and would "further dismantle" the "irreplaceable" expertise that exists within PHE.

Munira Wilson, the Liberal Democrat's health, wellbeing and social care spokesperson criticised the decision to promote a "Tory insider who's been responsible for the sub-par Test and Trace system".

She said in a tweet that "total transparency" was needed when it came to such appointments.

Labour's shadow health minister Justin Madders said in a tweet that there had been "no transparency or accountability" in Baroness Harding's appointment.
 

PHILIPE

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And now for good measure, it seems Baroness Harding will be running PHE's replacement for the time being

Many posts on Social Media (too many to quote) make me think the fan might be struck before long regarding Dido Harding

Article from Telegraph summing up Her Ladyship:-



Dido Harding's unstoppable upward rise is an egregious example of the chumocracy at work
Harding's career has been dotted with failures, yet she is part of the club, so on she goes
ROSS CLARK18 August 2020 • 12:35pm
Ross Clark


Iguess there will have been few tears shed around the nation’s breakfast tables this morning for the demise of Public Health England – a quango which proved to be more interested in hectoring us over our diets than in preparing for a pandemic. But, really, can’t the government find someone better to lead its successor body, the Institute for Health Protection, than the woman who set up the government’s dysfunctional test and trace system?
Dido Harding is the modern day equivalent of Gilbert and Sullivan’s First Lord of the Admiralty – the one who polished the knobs so beautifully that he became leader of the Queen’s Navy. She has enjoyed endless promotions and fancy new jobs, but why she has been offered them no-one seems to be quite sure.
Or perhaps that comparison is not fair to the First Lord. If Harding was given a job polishing brass knobs they wouldn’t end up beautifully-polished – they would fall off and yet still she would be booted upstairs.
Harding, you might remember, was CEO of TalkTalk in 2015 when 157,000 of its customers had their data stolen – including names, addresses, telephone numbers and bank account details. Asked whether the information was encrypted, at first she said she hadn’t a clue, and then tried to dismiss the whole idea of encryption by saying it wasn’t a ‘silver bullet’.
I can’t for sure connect the two things, but I was a TalkTalk customer at the time and I am still receiving daily phishing emails and regular calls from scammers, in spite of keeping my telephone number out of the phone directory. I also went three months without a functioning phone line, after being passed from one TalkTalk call centre to another and speaking to what seemed like the entire population of Bangalore. TalkTalk regularly tops the polls of the most-complained about telecoms companies.
What better candidate, then, to run a test and trace system which relies on cutting edge phone technology and 25,000 call centre staff? Her first effort, a phone app which was supposed to tell us if we had come into close contact with an infected individual, disappeared without trace after a trial on the Isle of Wight. People in the technology industry had warned that the system was flawed, but Harding ploughed ahead anyway.

In place of the app, Harding was then charged with creating a manual test and trace system, which has proved no less farcical. A report by the Independent Sage Committee last week revealed that between the end of May and the end of July those staff succeeded in contacting 51,524 close contacts of people who had been diagnosed with Covid 19. That is a grand total of one call per month – and there is no guarantee than any of them actually did what they were told and self-isolated for 14 days.
Harding’s main qualification for her new role seems to be that she studied PPE at Oxford alongside David Cameron and went on to marry former Conservative MP John Penrose. She is part of a club. While other businesses and organisations have to leap through hoops when they recruit anyone, to make sure they are achieving diversity and are free of unconscious bias, entirely different rules seem to apply to government (and Labour was just as bad in this as are the Conservatives, if not worse) - ministers just pick up the phone and fill important jobs with their chums.
We will find out in due course Harding’s plans to prepare for a future pandemic. But I wouldn’t even trust her to get the ‘bring out your dead’ carts onto the street without their wheels falling off.
 
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brad465

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Many posts on Social Media (too many to quote) make me think the fan might be struck before long regarding Dido Harding

Article from Telegraph summing up Her Ladyship:-
That might depend on who exactly has been making the social media posts (i.e. to be a sign of trouble for her would mean criticism from users who normally support the Government). However the Telegraph article criticising her does spell trouble for her and/or the Government.
 

PHILIPE

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This an extract from a Commons Committee interrogating Dido Harding today on COVID testing shortcomings and when she explained how she got the job

 
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