Government fraud investigators probe PPE contracts

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Government fraud investigators are looking into contracts to supply the NHS with PPE during the pandemic, officials at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have said.

Giving evidence to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Jonathan Marron, the director general of the office for health improvement and disparities, said they had “concerns” over 176 contracts worth a total of £3.9 billion.

He said that the actual amount of equipment at issue was worth £2.7 billion – with concerns ranging from the quality of the kit provided to performance of the contractor.

Legality

The DHSC permanent secretary Chris Wormald said the level of suspected fraud was no higher than with other government contracts:

It is not unusual to be in dispute on some contracts. Some of them will be resolved entirely amicably, some of them will get to the other end of the spectrum where we believe there has been wrongdoing,” he told the committee.

Fraud in contracting is a fact of life, regardless of the circumstances. It would be astonishing if this was the only large set of government contracts in which there was no fraud at all.

What we haven’t seen is this set of contracts being more susceptible to fraud than the average.

Read on...

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Marron acknowledged that 1.1 billion items of PPE, worth £461 million, supplied during the pandemic had been identified as being unfit for any use.

However he said it represented “quite a small proportion” of the 19.8 billion items used in health and social care to the end of last month.

While some may be possible to resolve through mediation and commercial agreement, he said others may require a “more legal process”:

We are working really, really closely with our internal fraud teams and the broader fraud authorities.

That is part of what we are looking at, as to how we might bring resolution to these disputes. All options are on the table.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Government fraud investigators probe PPE contracts
      Firstly VOTERS.
      I wish to know why Hancock is still in a Govt job under lying Boris
      For his part in Misusing our N.H.S FUNDS to give his rich business mates our Taxpayer money meant for N.H.S. staff on P.P.E. equipment we never got & in most case what we got was no good for use in the N.H.S. serves. I also want to know when is Hancock paying back his family member cash he enquired of part the deals under P.P.E equipment we never got below is my email I sent G.B. news after watching a live interview dated 20.4.2022 Wednesday with Hancock on the N.H.S. mess under his watch were he just talked rubbish to DON never gave any true input more concerned in advertising his book (NOT finished yet??) (This man should not be in any Govt job now)
      ///////////
      SUB-Hancock & a live interview he only promoted his BOOK why?
      21/04/2022 08:48
      Good day
      G.B. NEWS STAFF
      GOOD interview last night
      Just an email to ask your news or program presenter
      Don Wootton how he kept himself for hitting Hancock last night on live T.V. I would have kicked his lying smirking backside out of his seat for not telling us British public or you SIR the truth DON.
      The interview was a bit misleading on Hancock part he just seemed to be more interested in-promoting his BOOK.
      (I do hope NO one buys it)
      A question I would have like Don to have asked Hancock
      Was he too buzzy writing his words for his book to do the Health Minister job right? this will acount for Hancock + Boris BAD mistake of moving infected patents out of Hospitals into care home, Both private & N.H.S used one were our loved ones lost their lives under their watch.
      I have tweeted on a Hancock on his tweeted article my disgust in him more interested in promoting is book than answering your Question DON truthy on his failing as a Tory Govt Minister of Health under lying Boris rule.
      DON could you reply to this email people??
      And will you be dragging Hancock backside in for another interview if so please let me know.

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