UK Crony Capitalism: What’s really going on here?

Thursday, 18 August 2022 — Goodlaw Project

We won’t let the drive for Net Zero, one of the most important challenges facing the UK today, become another example of secretive closed-door procurement practices.

That’s why we’ve filed judicial review proceedings against the East of England Broadband Network (E2BN) for their decision to, we believe, unlawfully award a £70 billion ‘Everything Net Zero’ Framework Agreement to the Place Group, a company with scant emissions reduction expertise.

Based on what we know so far, this agreement offers the Place Group a way of controlling how the entire public sector, from the NHS to local government offices, will award contracts even loosely connected to ‘climate’ issues, without having to comply with the usual public procurement rules.

This is a lot of power and responsibility for a tiny firm with only two members of staff. £70 billion is equivalent to almost the entire annual Department for Education budget.

If you believe in accountability and transparency, and think the climate crisis is too important to be left to shoddy procurement processes, you can support our legal challenge here.

Support our challenge

E2BN and the Place Group’s agreement raises far more questions than a well-run framework process should.

Why was E2BN, a ‘regional broadband consortium’, allowed to write such a poor example of a framework agreement? And to make a decision that could have such a far-reaching impact on the UK’s climate response? What is the extent of the pre-existing relationship between E2BN and the Place Group?

E2BN have so far refused to properly engage with our questions. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation, which is why we’ve asked the Court to give E2BN a bit more time to provide us with proper answers. If they do not, we will move forwards with our legal action.

The climate emergency requires much better than this. We will keep fighting to make sure the UK’s drive to Net Zero doesn’t fall victim to shoddy procurement practices.

Thank you,

Jo Maugham

Director, Good Law Project

We are publishing our Statement of Facts and Grounds in full here.

Good Law Project only exists thanks to donations from people across the UK. If you’re in a position to support our legal challenge, you can do so here:

Good Law Project

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