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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Wandering Minds » Nepotism/Cronyism Watch

Nepotism/Cronyism Watch

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151Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 14:46

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
Nothing to do with teaching me you say MPs have no say over it and it’s handled by people like you. I’m asking you where on that link you’ve posted as evidence supports that?

152Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 15:13

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@T.R.O.Y. wrote:Nothing to do with teaching me you say MPs have no say over it and it’s handled by people like you. I’m asking you where on that link you’ve posted as evidence supports that?

Are you for real???

Hahahaha

You don't even know how the relationship between elected members and public employees operates!!!!

You really are a dumb ass to be arguing on a subject you clearly know nothing about!

There is nothing in the link about MP's - the system doesn't work that way you moron.

This is up there with you waiting for Hancock to tell the world if government contracts had remedy clauses in them or not!!!!

You really are making yourself out to be a complete and utter doughnut!!!




153Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 15:16

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
As always, no need for the insults. You’re saying that MPs have no influence over procurement then?

154Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 15:20

Ten Bobsworth


Andy Walker
Andy Walker
'I mean what else can you do?'


You can satirize and poke fun at 'em, Sluffy. They really don't like being satirized or having fun poked at 'em. Makes 'em foam at the mouth, it does

Or you can just pour yourself another glass of claret.

Its a bit early for another glass of claret so I'll save that later.

Mansfield are winning at the moment at FGR.  Come on you Stags, make it a weekend double.

155Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 15:53

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
One thing for sure is that if you can’t sleep then reading this thread will work better than Night Nurse!

156Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 15:56

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
@karlypants wrote:One thing for sure is that if you can’t sleep then reading this thread will work better than Night Nurse!

Ha, for once I think you’re spot on.

157Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 16:19

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@T.R.O.Y. wrote:As always, no need for the insults. You’re saying that MPs have no influence over procurement then?

I'm not going to write you a book on this but in very, very simple terms elected members form groups and the biggest group usually is the one in power.  They put forward their policies and if they have enough votes it becomes the 'law'.

Public servants are simply paid employees who enact the laws, administer and work to them.

The document I linked to would have been part of an Act voted in by Parliament (where the MP's get their say) and the reference quoted in the document -  regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015 leads to this -

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/102/contents/made

 - and which is a Statutory Instrument (which basically means a lesser 'order' deriving from the actual Act itself - delegated legislation in simple terms).

People like me would act in accordance to the regulations (or in other words we would work to the law).

Let me draw a line there to show the separation between what public servants do and through which legal authority and return back to the role of elected members.

So say you were an MP and saw Maugham's tweet and it worried you, you would ask questions in the House of Commons.

If you were more directly involved with it, say one of the contracts awarded was to say one of your constituents (or one of your constituents had raised a concern with you) then you could write to the Cabinet Office (this is the office which has responsibility for procurement) and your letter would be answered by someone like me - who probably also briefed 'my' Cabinet Minister so he could answer your question in Parliament - namely what authority the award was made under and how the system works - in fact someone like me would have written most if not all of that long document for the legal reply too, as the solicitors wouldn't know much if anything about procurement during the crisis.

In all of these cases, in Parliament, in a constituency letter, in the legal letter, the facts would be the same - namely the work was done in accordance to the regulations or flowed from it and - and would also include who had the authority to award the contracts in value terms (it is all listed in that long extract I had to print out for you).

The more formal way an MP has to delve further would be to agitate for a formal inquiry - which is exactly what the Public Accounts Committee will be holding in two weeks time.  Here the all party members of the panel have the powers to basically audit all the records and interview any witness they want - no doubt if I was in my former position and involved in this I would certainly be expected to be called and questioned - but I've never had a problem with being interviewed by anyone because I know I've done my job correctly and ensured my staff have done the same.

After the enquiry the committee would issue its findings and the government will reply to them if required to do so.

Personally I can't see how any cronyism has deliberately occurred if the poor old public servants like I once was did their jobs properly.

Anyway no doubt PAC will do their job diligently and thoroughly and if there is anything to be found, will find it.

I attach an simplistic explanation on select committees that you may/may not find of interest.

https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/committees/select/






People don't find all this interesting?

Really???

What's wrong with you all!

Very Happy

158Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 16:23

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
No, not good enough. The question was ‘are you saying that MPs have no influence over procurement decision making’?

You’ve called me a dumb ass, an idiot, a doughnut and poorly educated for suggesting they do.

Simple yes or no answer.

159Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 16:37

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@T.R.O.Y. wrote:No, not good enough. The question was ‘are you saying that MPs have no influence over procurement decision making’?

You’ve called me a dumb ass, an idiot, a doughnut and poorly educated for suggesting they do.

Simple yes or no answer.

MP's DO NOT have influence over procurement decision making.

That what I've just spent the last five days telling you ffs!!!

You really are thick if you've not grasped that by now.

Procurement decision making is undertaken by public servants in accordance with the relevant statute.

If any MP is found to have influenced the award of any contract then they might well be paying an unwanted visit to the Old Bailey very soon!

160Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 16:57

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
The entire point of the investigation is to find out if they have Sluffy not if they are supposed to. Good god man.

What is the need for these explosions of abuse? Are you that wound up by this?

161Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 17:23

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@T.R.O.Y. wrote:The entire point of the investigation is to find out if they have Sluffy not if they are supposed to. Good god man.

What is the need for these explosions of abuse? Are you that wound up by this?

Yes very, either that or I do it to indicate exasperation with someone I'm trying to help who clearly is either playing games with me or can't stand to lose an argument (or extremely numb!)

Such as now when even after all this time you still haven't a clue have you - as there is absolutely NO investigation over MP's having any influence over procurement decision making - let alone the very reason for being!!!

The Judicial review are to determine if the 'government' exceeded it's powers and the PAC terms of reference are -

In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, public sector bodies have had to procure goods and services with extreme urgency.

Under emergency laws brought in at the start of the pandemic crisis, the Cabinet Office - which oversees government’s buying policies - has changed some of the procurement rules for contracts relating to the government’s response to COVID-19. Concerns have been raised about some of these procurements, including around a lack of transparency.

This inquiry will look at the scale of Government’s COVID-19-related contracting, how procurement rules have changed and how the government is managing the risks associated with these changes.

For a chosen sample of these contracts it will look specifically at who bought what, from whom, and at what cost, during the pandemic - and whether this is delivering value for taxpayers money in the crisis.

The Committee will question senior officials at the Cabinet Office and Department for Health and Social Care.

(Lack of transparency will I believe relate to the late reporting of contract awards that the government has already acknowledge there are technical breaches of).

No mention of MP's anywhere!

..dunno..

162Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 17:37

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
The mention of MPs comes from the Randox case - where Paterson was on calls agreeing the contract in his role as an advisor to them - so did he influence the contract or not was the original question.

And please don’t claim you’re trying to ‘help’ Sluffy. You don’t help people by calling them dumb ass do you?

163Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 18:40

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@T.R.O.Y. wrote:The mention of MPs comes from the Randox case - where Paterson was on calls agreeing the contract - so did he influence the contract or not.

And please don’t claim you’re trying to ‘help’ Sluffy. You don’t help people by calling them dumb ass do you?

I very much doubt he influenced something by being in a call after it had already happened!

The call took place AFTER the contract was awarded - bet you didn't know that did you!

The call between Randox, Paterson and Lord Bethell took place on 9 April, days after the company had secured its first contract to provide testing services. Bethell, who ran a political lobbying firm before entering the House of Lords, is the minister for innovation in the DHSC. He has led efforts by Boris Johnson’s government to use private sector companies in the pandemic response.

Apparently Paterson had correctly previously registered his interest in Randox.

The process of awarding a contract as I've said is done by public servants and signed off in this case (because of the value of the award) by the Second Permanent Secretary of Department of Health and Social Care - who is also a public servant.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/04/tory-linked-firm-involved-in-testing-failure-awarded-new-347m-covid-contract

The call was listed as to discuss Covid Testing (which the contract was in respect of) - and it would be extremely unusual for the client (DHSC) not to be speaking with the contractor (Randox) about the contract after it's been awarded.

And fwiw I do try to help, even dumb asses - they tend to need it the more.

If you don't want it you only need to say so and I'll leave you to your staggering ignorance, chronic lack of knowledge and clear political bias on these matters.

Toddle pip.

164Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 19:04

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
Who knows Sluffy, maybe you’re right and there’s no case to answer here, maybe you’re not and we’ll find out at some point. But calling for an investigation is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. I’ve no issue with any of those who have. You even agreed it was a question worth asking the other day, so not sure what’s changed in your head today.

One other thing though, I don’t come on here to be abused, I’m a very patient person and I like to debate issues on here but the constant derogatory name calling is beginning to annoy me.

165Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 19:42

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@T.R.O.Y. wrote:Who knows Sluffy, maybe you’re right and there’s no case to answer here, maybe you’re not and we’ll find out at some point. But calling for an investigation is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. I’ve no issue with any of those who have. You even agreed it was a question worth asking the other day, so not sure what’s changed in your head today.

One other thing though, I don’t come on here to be abused, I’m a very patient person and I like to debate issues on here but the constant derogatory name calling is beginning to annoy me.

I'm a very easy going bloke too and I'm happy to help anyone but I'm not here to be deliberately played and it's abundantly clear you have a staggering lack of knowledge in what you profess to be important to you namely the scrutiny of politicians/the government executive by means other than trial by social media it seems.

I've been happy to give you a substantial insight in this and you clearly either don't wish to know or refuse to take onboard and continue the discussion with quite frankly staggeringly stupid comments/questions exposing an almost zero understanding of the subject or the context in how it actually functions and so I can only conclude you are simply stringing me along for your amusement or somehow unable to understand even the most basic of explanations.

I therefore let you clearly know I have no time for either reason by questioning your intelligence and/or your motive for such.

Don't play games and you wouldn't engender such cutting and hurtful comments such as dumb ass and doughnut!

I can only assume complaining about such pathetically weak put downs (I was being called a cunt and a wanker as a comparison just a number of days back) is again another part of a game you are playing.

As for changing my head, I haven't - I've explained in considerable depth about the processes and the scope of the inquiry and judicial review and if it isn't within their scope they won't ask questions on them - contrary to you demanding they do and I telling you why they can't/won't.

Yet again if I may say so you showing your chasm of ignorance in how the system works.

Happy Diwali.

166Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 19:46

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Nurse Gladys is on her way...

Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 319298

167Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 19:52

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
Sluffy, clearly you know more about government processes if you worked with them. I wouldn’t dream of calling someone I was having a conversation with ignorant for not understanding my line of work as well as me, and I’ve never said anything like that to you when we discuss topics you’ve openly said you have less knowledge on.

Some of what you’ve posted has been genuinely informative and interesting. But it does not disprove the point of this thread which is questioning if the processes you describe have been abused

Again you decide to lie by saying I’ve demanded things are added to the judicial reviews scope.

No more from me on this, the lies and abuse have started to really piss me off to be honest. I’ve tried hard to treat you with respect throughout, it’s obvious you can’t do the same. I’ll PM you if I have any more to say and suggest you do the same.

168Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 20:42

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Yet again you you fail to understand what I've said - it's becoming a habit for you - or done deliberately perhaps?

You've repeatedly asked for MP's to be questioned regarding influencing of contract awards and I've explained that both the inquiry as well as the judicial reviews will not do so unless it is within their scope/terms of reference - I certainly did not say you demanded things added to their scope - that's simply you again failing to understand what was written.

So if the Judicial review doesn't include that scope - and it doesn't, it is about whether the contract was awarded legally in accordance with the law - and the PAC inquiry doesn't and unless I mistaken it does not -  and that no evidence of wrong doing as been taken to the police by either GLP or any investigative journalist then I can't see where anyone can undertake to hold any MP to account on anything that is based on more the conjecture or innuendo?

Those are the facts of the matter and not me changing my head about anything, nor me ever lying as you claim I have done?

I've also never called you ignorant for not knowing my depth of knowledge in the subject, most people in the public sector wouldn't have such knowledge either unless they are trained in my line of work.  I've called you ignorant for not knowing fundamental and basic elements and principles of the subject - really, really simple stuff - yet vociferously arguing the toss over the matter nevertheless - as I've said jaw dropping ignorance from you at times.  Why would you wish to debate on something at great length over days and days and not even do simple research such googling stuff or looking on Wikipedia - anything than showing just pure ignorance.

Maybe that's what people do these days, I don't know, I certainly wouldn't argue on something I didn't know about and be confrontational at the same time -

@T.R.O.Y. wrote:No, not good enough. The question was ‘are you saying that MPs have no influence over procurement decision making?

Not good enough?

Even when I given you the answers multiple times already???

Maybe this turns into an 'expanses' type scandal and loads of MP's are somehow caught out in this but I certainly don't believe that will be the case nor do I honestly believe such things have actually gone on anyway.

Time will tell one way or the other in due course no doubt.

169Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 21:49

Ten Bobsworth


Andy Walker
Andy Walker
You know what, Sluffy, my two kids have had not had the same life experiences as me as children, as adolescents or as adults and they are really quite different from each other but neither seem to be  taken in by bullshit in the media or social media. So I'm not entirely convinced that swallowing hogwash is entirely a generational thing.

170Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 22:55

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@Ten Bobsworth wrote:You know what, Sluffy, my two kids have had not had the same life experiences as me as children, as adolescents or as adults and they are really quite different from each other but neither seem to be  taken in by bullshit in the media or social media. So I'm not entirely convinced that swallowing hogwash is entirely a generational thing.

No you are right, people swallowed pigswill back in our days too but such shit wasn't instantaneous like it is now on social media, and not everybody got to hear about it and pass it on all over the country, even the world within literally minutes like they can.

There's also a sort of critical mass and community self perpetuating culture - what I mean is that someone can be 'bombarded' by something from their mates/family/work colleagues/etc and it becomes increasingly difficult to think, just a minute this doesn't feel right to me and make a stand against the crowd - look what abuse we took over Anderson - and look at some of the professions we know (or they claim to be) who believed such crap - even members of your own profession - so even intelligent people academically can't seem to see the wheat from the chaff sometimes.

I just think there is a culture of acceptance by many rather than of questioning.

Clearly knowledge and education helps to see through the mist and a desire to apply some form of reason and questioning is far more helpful than passive acceptance, naivety and gullibility in accepting everything you are told is so.

Sometimes people WANT to believe - I guess all the world's religions believers are of that ilk?

I don't know what it is but clearly literally millions of people believe stuff like QAnon, Trump won the election, 5G causes coronavirus, Iles knows about finance and loads of other tripe.

I'm not claiming I'm the world's cleverest bloke or something but don't people get a feel for things at all?  Ok it does sound wacko that Lizards are fighting Trump, so you'd think most people would spot stuff like that but if you did read story's on social media about MP's mates getting £350m contracts wouldn't you wonder why such a story isn't on the news, or why out of 650 MP's only 3 are making a fuss - and two of them I'd never heard of?  Wouldn't you get suspicious a bit when you start to realise that nearly all these story's you hear can be traced back to one individual and his pet project?  Would you not ask why the police aren't doing anything about a reported billion pounds worth of apparent corruption?

When you just ask yourself some fairly obvious questions it begins to not stack up that well does it?  Yet you get a very intelligent young woman at Harvard tweeting about it and doing clever things on the computer in respect of it and you have over 100,000 people sign a petition for it to be debated in Parliament.  

Isn't there some mismatch between reality when you examine things a bit more thoroughly and accepting things you read on the internet at face value?

Maybe I'm wrong and there's mass corruption happening but I can't see any signs of it other than from one place that seems to be the source of everything and certainly I think if I had just got myself £350m by dodgy means I wouldn't still be hanging around good old blighty, I'd be somewhere in the Sun in a country with no extradition treaty back to England and a very long spell in jail - wouldn't you?

It just doesn't feel right does it - and that's even without knowing the stuff I do know and have posted on here.

I don't know, people believe what they do I guess and the more people who believe the same thing the more convinced they are right and people like me who don't share that view is the weirdo nutcase and not the lone voice of reason as I try to be.

Hey-ho, such is life!

171Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 23:16

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 F2c9a07edb4c4ebe552bba6cb68e0dc0

172Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 23:21

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 3994D7C900000578-3858780-image-m-33_1477063236971

173Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sat Nov 14 2020, 23:25

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Very Happy

174Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sun Nov 15 2020, 07:44

Ten Bobsworth


Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Better than being a mouth-foaming, pitchfork wielding, rabble rousing, lynch mob type though innit, Boncey?

175Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sun Nov 15 2020, 09:13

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
Another one in the Times this morning (for those with a subscription). An influential lobbyist getting exclusive access then abusing his position by sharing sensitive information with paymasters.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/george-pascoe-watson-among-lobbyists-given-secret-access-to-covid-meetings-tzxkc0jkp

176Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sun Nov 15 2020, 10:27

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Ten Bobsworth wrote:
Better than being a mouth-foaming, pitchfork wielding, rabble rousing, lynch mob type though innit, Boncey?
I wouldn't know ,Bob. It is Bob, isn't it? I get mixed up sometimes.

177Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Sun Nov 15 2020, 10:50

Ten Bobsworth


Andy Walker
Andy Walker
@boltonbonce wrote:
I wouldn't know ,Bob. It is Bob, isn't it? I get mixed up sometimes.
Bob on, Boncey, it is Bob. Nowt fake in Bobsterland.

Btw try not to get too mixed up. Bobsterisms might sometimes be addressed to you but that doesn't mean they are aimed at you.

178Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Wed Nov 18 2020, 02:21

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Right, after all the Hoo-ha from Maugham and his social media campaign the first official inquiry's are starting to filter out and up to now they echo what I've been saying all along - namely no identified corruption or cronyism but mistakes and omissions have been made but saying that the reports acknowledge that vast amount of volumes and time pressure that the procurement needed to be acquired under.

The first major reporting body is the National Audit Office's - Investigation into government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic, published today 18th November.

It doesn't paint a pretty picture but then again in hasn't been damning in it's findings either.

Let me set the scene - firstly Who is the NAO?

The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government and the civil service. It helps Parliament hold government to account and it uses its insights to help people who manage and govern public bodies improve public services.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), Gareth Davies, is an Officer of the House of Commons and leads the NAO. The NAO audits the financial accounts of departments and other public bodies. It also examines and report on the value for money of how public money has been spent.

The Volume of work in the first six months of the pandemic -

By 31 July, over 8,600 contracts, worth £18.0 billion, related to government’s response to the pandemic had been awarded. Individual contracts ranged in value from less than £100 to £410 million. 90% of the contracts by value (£16.2 billion) were awarded by the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and its national bodies. In comparison, in 2019-20 DHSC awarded 174 contracts worth £1.1 billion, less than 7% of what it and its national bodies awarded between January and July 2020 in response to the pandemic.

New contracts worth £17.3 billion were awarded to suppliers, of which: £10.5 billion were awarded directly without a competitive tender process;1 £6.7 billion were awarded directly through pre-existing framework agreements (which would have involved a competitive bidding process when they were set up); and contracts worth almost £0.2 billion were awarded using a competitive tender process or using a competitive bidding process from a framework agreement. Government also procured goods and services worth £0.7 billion through amendments or extensions to existing contracts.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) accounted for 80% of the number of contracts awarded (over 6,900 contracts) and 68% of the total value of contracts awarded (£12.3 billion). PPE needed to be procured quickly during the first few months of the pandemic, when global demand far exceeded supply.

How did the set up to do this? -

The Department of Health and Social care (DHSC), supported by other departments, established an eight-stage process to assess and process offers of support to supply PPE. It set up processes to rapidly check suppliers’ equipment against government’s PPE specifications and to undertake due diligence on the suppliers. Contracts were awarded to 71 suppliers, worth £1.5 billion in total, before this process was standardised; 62 of these have been delivered, three have been cancelled and six remain ongoing.

The High Priority Lane -

The cross-government PPE team established a high-priority lane to assess and process potential PPE leads referred by government officials, ministers’ offices, MPs and Lords, senior NHS staff and other health professionals. The team considered that leads referred by these sources were more credible or needed to be treated with more urgency. About one in ten suppliers processed through the high-priority lane (47 out of 493) obtained contracts compared to less than one in a hundred suppliers that came through the ordinary lane (104 of 14,892).The sources of the referrals to the high-priority lane were not always documented in the case management system and the NAO found a case where a supplier, PestFix, was added to the high-priority lane in error.

Accountability and scrutiny of contracts awarded -

For procurements where there is no competition, it is important that awarding bodies set out clearly why they have chosen a particular supplier and how any associated risks from a lack of competition have been identified and mitigated. This is to ensure public trust in the fairness of the procurement process. In a selected sample of 20 contracts, the NAO found examples where departments failed to document key decisions, such as why they chose a particular supplier or used emergency procurement, and failed to document their consideration of risks, including how they had identified and managed any potential conflicts of interest.

The NAO found that some contracts were awarded retrospectively after work had already been carried out. For example, a £3.2 million contract was awarded to Deloitte to support the cross-government PPE team’s procurement of PPE on 21 July 2020, with the contract effective from 14 March 2020. The Cabinet Office’s contract with Public First was awarded on 5 June 2020, with the contract effective from 3 March 2020. By asking for work to be delivered without a formal contract, risks such as underperformance are increased.

Why those 20 contracts were looked at -

The NAO selected this sample on a risk basis, considering factors such as concerns raised (for example, by correspondents or the media), as well as the size of contracts and the complexity of their subject matter.

Findings -

On the 20 contracts inspected - For a Cabinet Office procurement for focus groups and communications with Public First, the Cabinet Office failed to document why it chose this particular supplier, why it used emergency procurement and failed to document any consideration of any potential conflicts of interest. For three government contracts for data services with Faculty, the awarding bodies failed to document any consideration of any potential conflicts of interest in two cases and in one case failed to document why the supplier was chosen. For a DHSC contract for PPE with Ayanda, DHSC failed to consider a potential conflict of interest for a person associated with the company.

Also - a separate inquiry into the allegations from Mangham was on going namely -The Cabinet Office asked the Government Internal Audit Agency to review six PPE contracts that have attracted media attention. The review found that while there was evidence for most controls being applied, there were some gaps in the documentation, such as why some suppliers which had low due diligence ratings were awarded contracts.

Reporting and Transparency -

Many of the contracts awarded over this period have not been published in a timely manner. Guidance issued by the Crown Commercial Service recommends that basic information about the award of all contracts is published within 90 days of the award. Of the 1,644 contracts worth more than £25,000 awarded up to the end of July 2020, 55% had not had details published on Contracts Finder by 10 November 2020 and only 25% were published within the 90-day target. For contracts of a higher value which are required to be published to the Official Journal of the European Union, DHSC published 89% of 871 contracts. Transparency is a key control to ensure accountability for decisions taken.

Recommendations -

The NAO recommends that, should the need to procure significant volumes of goods with extreme urgency arise again, government identifies and manages potential conflicts of interest and bias earlier in the procurement process. Government should ensure that basic information on contracts are published within 90 days of award.

Concluding Remarks -

In the months following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 in the UK, government awarded around £18 billion of contracts using  emergency procurement regulations to buy goods, services and works to support its response to the pandemic. Government was having to work at pace, with no experience of using emergency procurement on such a scale before and was  developing its approach at the same time as procuring large quantities of goods  and services quickly, frequently from suppliers it had not previously worked with, in a highly competitive international market. This procurement activity secured unprecedented volumes of essential supplies necessary to protect front-line workers. Our separate report on the supply of PPE looks in detail at the extent to which demand for that equipment was met and the value-for-money achieved.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, government had to procure large volumes of goods and services quickly whilst managing the increased risks this might entail.  While government had the necessary legal framework in place to award  contracts directly, it had to balance the need to procure large volumes of  goods and services quickly, with the increased commercial and propriety risks associated with emergency procurement. We looked in detail at a sample of contracts selected on a risk basis. Although we found sufficient documentation for a number of procurements in our sample, we also found specific examples where there is insufficient documentation on key decisions, or how risks such as perceived or actual conflicts of interest have been identified or managed.  In addition, a number of contracts were awarded retrospectively, or have not
been published in a timely manner. This has diminished public transparency, and the lack of adequate documentation means we cannot give assurance that government has adequately mitigated the increased risks arising from emergency  procurement or applied appropriate commercial practices in all cases.  While we recognise that these were exceptional circumstances, it remains essential that decisions are properly documented and made transparent if government is to maintain public trust that taxpayers’ money is being spent appropriately and fairly. The evidence set out in our report shows that these standards of transparency and documentation were not consistently met in the first phase of the pandemic.

Gareth Davies, head of the NAO

https://www.nao.org.uk/press-release/investigation-into-government-procurement-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Investigation-into-government-procurement-during-the-COVID-19-pandemic-Summary.pdf

Also from the report -

The NAO concluded that in cases of potential conflicts of interest involving ministers, all had properly declared their interests and it found "no evidence of their involvement in procurement decisions or contract management".

The spending watchdog acknowledged the pandemic required acting with "extreme urgency" and the Public Contracts Regulations allowed an emergency response, including awarding deals directly without a formal competition.


Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez said: "We have been dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic that has posed the biggest challenge to the UK in a generation.

"As this report rightly recognises, we needed to procure contracts with extreme urgency to secure the vital supplies required to protect frontline NHS workers and the public and we make no apology for that.

"We have robust processes in place for spending public money to ensure we get critical equipment to where it needs to go as quickly as possible, whilst also ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.

"It is important to maintain the public's confidence in how we manage their money, and we welcome the NAO's scrutiny of our processes and recommendations on how they can be improved."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54978460



So in summary huge volume of work due to worldwide pandemic resulting in emergency procurement and innovative priority system structure set up that has delivered the required volumes of PPE's within time to stop the NHS falling over, based on 'leads' from more 'creditable' sources, were not all the required paperwork and reporting of awards were done completely or on time.

No reporting however of corruption or cronyism being found on any of the specific contracts raised by Mangham or those selected for scrutiny by the NAO.


If I may say so, just as I had been saying all along.

However PAC to come in a fortnight and that may unearth a skeleton or two but I'll stick to what I've been saying since March, namely mistakes and omissions will have inevitably have been made considering the uniqueness and urgency of the world situation but I would be really surprised if there is any cronyism or corruption found.

We'll see though.

179Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Wed Nov 18 2020, 12:47

okocha

okocha
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Covid spending: Watchdog finds MPs' contacts were given priority.

BBC website today:-
Companies recommended by MPs, peers and ministers' offices were given priority as the government raced to obtain Personal Protective Equipment, the National Audit Office found.

Over half of the £18bn spent on pandemic-related contracts was awarded without competitive tender, it said.

The spending watchdog said the government was not transparent about suppliers and services.

It also found there was inadequate explanation of key spending decisions.

The findings are part of an NAO investigation into government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic.



The watchdog found not enough was done to address potential conflicts of interest by ministers and other government officials.

It found more than 8,600 coronavirus contracts had been awarded by 31 July, ranging in value from less than £100 to £410m.

Of these, £10.5bn-worth (58%) were awarded directly without a competitive tender process.

180Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 6 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch on Wed Nov 18 2020, 13:35

T.R.O.Y.


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
Not great reading the NAO’s report, the ‘VIP channel’ in particular. Any company that’s a part of said channel was ten times more likely to be awarded a contract. While the report acknowledges the intense pressures being worked under, it also highlights how essential documents used to safeguard against the misuse of public funds were missing from hundreds of million pound contracts.

“That was particularly true of the high-priority channel. Of the 493 suppliers referred to the scheme by a political or official contact, details of the individual who made the reference were recorded in the government’s case management system in fewer than half of cases.”


Few things from me:

1. Clearly the fact MPs could recommend companies to be part of the VIP channel is having an influence over the procurement process - I’m not saying they shouldn’t, but I resent being told I’m an idiot for questioning if that was the case.

2. No evidence has been made public as to what criteria makes a company eligible for the VIP channel - this is pretty key really. Competence to do the job? Or something else?

3. Whether through incompetence or cronyism, clearly the system has been abused and if anything like this is to happen in future I’d hope lessons have been learned.

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