Monday, 12 September 2022 — Goodlaw Project
The names of 50 firms given a fast-track ‘VIP lane’ route to securing lucrative Test and Trace contracts have at last been revealed, following our longstanding Freedom of Information battle with the Government.
For over a year, we have worked to uncover the identities of the politically-connected companies, all of which have links to Conservative Ministers, Peers and Government officials. The preferential treatment they received allowed them access to a priority route to the contracts awarded as part of its £37 billion Test and Trace programme led by Conservative peer Dido Harding.
The Government has refused to give up the names of both the firms and the officials that rolled out the red carpet for them.
But following our long-standing Freedom of Information battle, we’ve finally forced the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) – which oversaw the procurement process – to publish their names. You can see the list of names here.
We are analysing the firms and contracts and will publish more soon.
When Good Law Project first uncovered the Government’s priority route for politically connected testing firms, they flatly denied our claims:
“These claims are completely false – there was no high priority lane for testing suppliers,” the Government’s spokesperson said. “All offers of testing went through the same robust assurance checks and there was no separate ‘fast track’ process.”
Now we are vindicated. Ministers have misled us all.
In January, we successfully challenged the Government’s parallel operation of a ‘VIP lane’ for PPE contracts, – the High Court found the preferential treatment for certain suppliers was unlawful.
If you have any intel on how these firms came to be awarded these vast contracts via a fast-track route, our DMS and secure drop facilities are open: https://goodlawproject.org/got-a-tip-off/
Jo Maugham – Good Law Project