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

Nepotism/Cronyism Watch

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Natasha Whittam
wanderlust
Ten Bobsworth
y2johnny
Norpig
Sluffy
xmiles
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521Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Tue Feb 08, 2022 1:01 pm

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

T.R.O.Y. wrote:
Sluffy wrote:

Eh???

You for real?

It's a commonly used rhetorical statement.

The opposite of what Hancock did would have been to ignore/refuse/tell them to submit it in a more formal way - or in other words delay acting immediately - to Randox's offer to help, communicated through Paterson to him.

No one is actually suggesting the offer should be ignored - in fact it's quite the opposite point being made - namely how utterly ridiculous in the circumstance that the country was in at the time if Hancock DIDN'T expedite the offer of help to the civil servant procurement office for them to evaluate what if anything Randox could offer as help and if so whether it would pass through the evaluation process and lead to contract award.


Are you honestly saying that you thought the statement really meant someone suggested he ignore the offer????

Hahahaha!!!

You crack me up you two...

Dumb and Dumber!!!!

:rofl: :rofl:

No he’s presenting the scenario as a binary choice, to over simplify Hancocks role to appeal to people like you who will jump on anything they think can excuse the government.

‘Commonly used rhetorical statement’  Laughing  Laughing

Stop trying to wriggle.

It isn't a binary choice at all, it is the only choice he, or anyone in his position has - which is one of urgency to help save multiple lives if a Covid test could be developed in a matter of days.

This is exactly what happened - life's were saved because Randox did and their test kits were rolled out to the nation.

There is no sleaze , cronyism or corruption as Maugham alleges in respect of this and the other cases he has banged on about - he's just inferring 'guilt' through association and not provided any facts other the A knows B.

It's now been proved by three independent investigations/judicial determination that there was no ministerial or political interference with the Covid contracts being evaluated or awarded.

Maugham is a false prophet mate - you and thousands of others have been played by him because you want it to be true because of your Tory hatred.

It simply isn't.

522Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Tue Feb 08, 2022 2:30 pm

Guest


Guest

Tricky for you to claim what i've been played over when you've shown time and time again you don't have any grasp on what the issue is here.

523Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Tue Feb 08, 2022 2:53 pm

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

T.R.O.Y. wrote:Tricky for you to claim what i've been played over when you've shown time and time again you don't have any grasp on what the issue is here.

If you say so.

Funny though that although I've apparently no grasp of what the issue is here that NO actual proof or evidence has been found in TWO YEARS in respect of these copious sleaze accusations and that THREE totally independent inquiries/judicial case have all CONFIRMED that NO political instructions, interference, pressure or involvement have been made to influence or determine the evaluation and contract awards undertaken by the civil service.

Also that contracts have been awarded exclusively on their own merit and excluded completely and took no account as to whatever means they originally derived from.

Maugham/GLP for all their many and copious allegations and innuendos of industrial sized sleaze and corruption over the last two years have not provided one bit of hard evidence to back up these claims.

Those are the facts.

524Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Wed Feb 09, 2022 11:53 am

Guest


Guest

I'll try and get it across again.

Procurement rules were suspended. The question here is not whether rules were broken - it is whether operating a VIP lane was a fair and efficient use of public money/method of dealing with the crisis.

Each of those reports have been critical of the government in specific instances.



525Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Wed Feb 09, 2022 3:36 pm

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

And I'll again explain to you that the overriding requirement when emergency regulations are enacted to suspend normal procurement procedures is to expedite the purchase and to secure whatever is essential to deal with the extreme emergency situation.

The country went into lockdown and was already fighting the rest of the world to obtain PPE (nearly ALL of which was manufactured in China) BEFORE the VIP lane was even thought about, let alone set up!

In order to obtain the now required volumes of PPE a completely new system for procurement had to be set up from scratch - there wasn't anything existing to obtain PPE's on this scale before.

The existing system was that the NHS directly sourced its own PPE from existing suppliers and these supplies although fine in dealing with normal NHS demand were simply grossly inadequate for dealing with the demands of Covid.

What happened was that the government made a call to help industry to obtain the stocks now needed to deal with the new high levels of demand (and build up a stockpile for continuing demands at the current new level of usage) which resulted in 15,385 offers being received (which resulted in just 151 companies receiving contracts - 47 of which came from the VIP lane (out of 493 that went through it at the time) with only 7 MP's, Ministers or Peers having used the VIP lane for companies ultimately winning a contract).

The civil service simply didn't have anything like the resources to evaluate such a number of offers speedily so attempted to prioritise them by means of placing more urgency to those that were passed through to them by those deemed to be more credible and likely to have immediate access to the urgently needed PPE required (mainly those companies that had existing links to, or contracts with Chinese manufacturers).

So within a matter of days of the newly centralised government team being created the VIP lane was set up simply out of necessity to identify and action the best chances of getting the required volumes of PPE immediately.

Even doing this though there was still the requirement to evaluate each and every offer with one of the main criteria being value for money.



I don't believe anyone claims that everything was done perfectly but there is nothing in any of the three independent inquires / legal ruling that criticised the method of dealing with the crisis, and all confirmed that the process of contract evaluations included the value for money criteria.

Let me clarify that paragraph a bit more.

The GLP JR was 'won' on the technicality that the VIP lane was contrary to EU legislation that we were under at the time (which let us be honest was never intended to deal with pandemics when it was drafted).  The governments implementation of emergency regulations didn't allow this EU clause to be suspended - that would have taken a change in legislation from the EU to do that.

The initial JR judge ruled on the 'black or white' fact that the EU regulation at that time still applied however the appeal court judge went further in their determination in that although the VIP lane did breach the EU regulation the end result based on the urgency, volume and deliverability of the contracts awarded from the VIP route would still have been awarded if they hadn't come from that route - simply because they could be delivered urgently on time and in quantity when it is now demonstrable from the other 15,000 offers received at the time that very, very few of the others could achieve.

The outcome of the JR was basically a legal note to confirm the VIP was illegal under (EU) legislation at that time but had NO effect on the contracts being awarded as they would have been equally awarded if they hadn't had been passed through the VIP lane and been received via an alternative means.

The High Court judge refused to award GLP a remedy (an award in their favour) and thus GLP 'lost' the appeal - which made them liable for the governments costs for both the appeal AND the original JR.


So let me answer your question directly based on the above...

T.R.O.Y. wrote:I'll try and get it across again.

Procurement rules were suspended. The question here is not whether rules were broken - it is whether operating a VIP lane was a fair and efficient use of public money/method of dealing with the crisis.

Each of those reports have been critical of the government in specific instances.

1 - No 'rules' were broken as such.  An EU regulation was not complied with, the JR upheld that point but the Appeal Court basically determined that it was nothing more than a technicality and upheld the government's appeal.

2 - The VIP lane ultimately DID prove to be efficient in that it did identify and prioritise contractors able to deliver the goods in volume, in the urgent timescale required - and that can be evidenced from the High Courts judge determination that the contracts awarded would have gone to these companies even if they were the last of the 15,000 companies in the queue to be evaluated.

3 - All the inquires / judicial determination confirmed that value for money was an element of the contract evaluation process and thus was a fair and efficient method of protecting the public purse at that time.  The Boardman Report since has recommended future improvements on emergency procurement regulations based on lessons learned following this.

4 - Yes nobody believed a thrown together system in the face of a worldwide pandemic would be perfect and it is clear that existing 'normal' systems and procedures needed to be suspended in order to deal with the emergency and replaced with those able to expedite things immediately - and consequently two JR's were 'won' on technicalities in not complying with 'normal' EU regulations - namely publishing contacts awarded within 30 days (the government was trying to evaluate and award over 15,000 offers at that time!) and that the VIP lane breached the 'normal' EU regulation (which ultimately the High Court Judge at appeal determined didn't affect the end result anyway!).

So yes criticism is to be expected that some mistakes were inevitably made in the rush of things and lessons can always be learned looking back.

Personally I don't think much if anything would have been different if a Labour government had been in office in that the procurement system at the time could clearly not cope, emergency powers would need to be enacted, some central purchasing system would be urgently needed to source PPE's, a system would be needed to somehow identify and prioritise the more likely contractors able to source PPE from China and in the volumes required, that these contractors would inevitably be the same ones who were awarded the contracts anyway (no one else could obtain PPE's from China if they had not already got existing and ongoing contracts with manufacturers there now that there was an urgent global demand for the stuff), that the evaluation and awarding of the contracts (which would include the Value for Money element) would be set up and established by the civil servants and they would once again set up some sort of a VIP lane to deal with the companies best able to secure these contracts rather than evaluating all offers on a first come basis.

I don't doubt similar (even some identical) mistakes would have been made and I have no doubt political activists (right wing this time instead of left wing) would have been critical of the government at the time - maybe even brining legal challenges as Maugham has.

I've no doubt too that the follow up NAO and PAC inquiries would also be critical of that Labour government in certain instance too.

So yes the VIP lane was a fair and and efficient use of public money/method of dealing with the crisis.

The High Court Judge at Appeal ruled as much in that if there wasn't the VIP lane the companies still would have been awarded the contracts but it would have taken that much longer to get round to evaluating their offers because they had to stand in line with all the other companies making their offers - and by the time they got around to being evaluated the worldwide demand for PPE's would have meant that the manufactures price had substantially have risen and that the NHS would have inevitably had to wait that much longer until these contracts were eventually looked at, evaluated and awarded.

The bottom line to all this is that it was the civil servants that had to set up the systems and make them work - and in accordance with with the laws they were aware of which included EU regulations.  I don't believe anyone thought by establishing the VIP lane they had done anything wrong, quite the contrary in fact, they were trying to obtain the best results with the resources they had.

They were proved wrong on a legal 'technicality' by the GLP JR, which was basically deemed to be a pointless exercise by the High Court Judge on appeal by refusing to make an award of a remedy.

526Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Wed Mar 30, 2022 12:51 pm

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Thought I'd post this up - it is a link to the National Audit Office report on there Investigation into the management of PPE contracts.

Let start first with dealing with the ongoing elephant in the room - the report once again underlines that there was NO illegality, nepotism, cronyism, criminality or whatever you would wish to call it, found in the awarding of the contracts.

The report does however say that it is expects fraud and errors to be between 0.5% and 5% of PPE expenditure.

Seeing that huge amounts of money was involved those figures will be seen to be enormous but normal everyday contract fraud and errors are estimated to be between 0.5% and 2% and that vast bulk of the PPE was purchased in the very early stages of a worldwide pandemic, in attempt to buy finite existing stocks, in a sellers market in the face of huge international competition.

The NAO report is not pleasant reading but there simply was no system or precedence to undertake the task that was needed and inevitably errors and mistakes were made and a small proportion of suppliers did seemingly seek to take advantage of this.

In very, very simple terms, PPE was purchased in sufficient quantity to meet the estimated PPE requirements that the experts in SAGE had predicted, it was bought at the very hight of the market (which now as prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels accounts for something like 75% more paid at the time than what it is worth now) and because the predicted need was vastly over estimated has resulted in a huge surplus of stock which is no longer needed and is warehoused and becoming time expired.

Non of this is the fault of the Tory government or sleaze or cronyism by them.

Honest mistakes were made by the civil servants who rushed to set up the systems and obtain the required stock needed immediately as Covid was engulfing the world at the time.

https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Investigation-into-the-management-of-PPE-contracts-Summary.pdf

527Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Wed Mar 30, 2022 1:39 pm

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Your conclusions are complete bullshit.

The report actually says that the Department of Health and Social Care told the NAO that it "expects fraud and errors to be between 0.5% and 5% of PPE expenditure" - this is not the NAO criteria, merely a government "best guess".

The report also says that 176 contract disputes are still at various stages of resolution so this is nowhere near finished and the NAO is not yet in any position to determine whether or not fraud has taken place.

The report says it doesn't expect the review of 35% of the contracts in question to be completed until 2023

The report does confirm that procedural errors occurred though, especially in regard to procurement through the "VIP" channel that the government created:

"Forty-six out of the 115 contracts awarded to VIP lane suppliers did not go through the eight-stage due
diligence process as they were awarded before May 2020. This indicates that the
Department was not in a position to fully understand the contract management risks
it was exposing itself to with some of these suppliers"

Of the 394 contracts awarded, the Department ITSELF only considers 142 NOT to have issues.

528Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Wed Mar 30, 2022 2:56 pm

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

wanderlust wrote:Your conclusions are complete bullshit.

The report actually says that the Department of Health and Social Care told the NAO that it "expects fraud and errors to be between 0.5% and 5% of PPE expenditure" - this is not the NAO criteria, merely a government "best guess".

The report also says that 176 contract disputes are still at various stages of resolution so this is nowhere near finished and the NAO is not yet in any position to determine whether or not fraud has taken place.

The report says it doesn't expect the review of 35% of the contracts in question to be completed until 2023

The report does confirm that procedural errors occurred though, especially in regard to procurement through the "VIP" channel that the government created:

"Forty-six out of the 115 contracts awarded to VIP lane suppliers did not go through the eight-stage due
diligence process as they were awarded before May 2020. This indicates that the
Department was not in a position to fully understand the contract management risks
it was exposing itself to with some of these suppliers"

Of the 394 contracts awarded, the Department ITSELF only considers 142 NOT to have issues.

Try sticking to the facts.

:facepalm:

You do this every time!!!

1 - I never claimed the NAO stated it was THEIR OWN estimate of fraud and error - read what I put again - you simply just read things in the way you've already prejudged them to be in that head of yours!

2 - Yes contract DISPUTES - nothing about investigations into possible FRAUD - again you are reading into things that simply aren't there because you obviously want to believe there has been!

Indeed Point 22 of their summary even states that two thirds of these 176 DISPUTES is over the quality of PPE goods received - nothing at all to do with FRAUD.

Point 21 of their summary even states there is ZERO litigation taken place - hence no evidence of FRAUD found!!!

3 - Meaning that they have not identified FRAUD in the 65% of the contracts they have looked into as the report goes on to state there is NO litigation going on with the contracts they have been scrutinising!!!

4 - As for the 394 contracts awarded what you've put is simply not what the report is saying.

It gives this breakdown and even a flow chart showing all this ffs!!!

394 contracts awarded of which -

142 no problem
76 with initial issue but since fully resolved
79 contracts expected to have a satisfactory outcome
74 still under dispute
23 where value for money not obtained.

Not good I agree but put this into some context -

Assessing the total demand for PPE at the start
of the pandemic was extremely challenging due to the unprecedented nature of
COVID-19 and the precise technical specifications for the PPE necessary to respond
to it. By July 2020 the Department had largely stopped buying PPE
as it already had
“more than enough stock”. The Department estimates it has 3.9 billion more PPE
items than it needs, around 10% of the total PPE purchased and is trying to dispose
of these items through sales (305 million items), donations to other parts of the public
sector (253 million items) and recycling (232 million items).

The Department’s process for checking suppliers evolved over time, and in May 2020 it introduced an
eight-stage due diligence process. The Department told us that before May 2020,
it conducted some due diligence such as financial, commercial and legal checks but
not all of these were completed before contracts were awarded.
Forty-six out of the
115 contracts awarded to VIP lane suppliers did not go through the eight-stage due
diligence process as they were awarded before May 2020. This indicates that the
Department was not in a position to fully understand the contract management risks
it was exposing itself to with some of these suppliers


Look it is blindingly obvious that in the panic to get the required PPE the experts predicted we would need and with no system in existence to do so and in the face of all the rest of the world wanting it too, that risks were taken albeit limited as best they could possibly do in the time they had available to them.

The alternative was to do the job properly and lose out to the rest of the world on the PPE that existed at the time.

Would you, Maugham and everybody else enraged at the government preferred no mistakes and consequently no PPE for the NHS and care homes, or a degree of mistakes, ordering wrong kit, paying top market price for it but having sufficient for what was needed at that time to deal with what was?

You'd all only be enraged now over them not getting the PPE in time, putting costs before lives, and causing multiple lives of doctors, nurses and care staff who would have had to go though the pandemic with no PPE!

And I repeat yet again - there's still NO evidence anywhere of corruption, cronyism or illegality in awarding the contracts!

You just want the Tory government to be wrong and in this case they aren't - things would just have been more or less the same whichever political party was in charge when the pandemic struck as it was the experts who specified (incorrectly as we now know in retrospect) the volumes and specifications of what was bought and the civil servants that had to procure it knowing the market was frenetic and financial risk was higher than what was normally would have been acceptable in normal circumstances.

529Nepotism/Cronyism Watch - Page 27 Empty Re: Nepotism/Cronyism Watch Sat Apr 30, 2022 12:10 am

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Fwiw it is over two years now that mountain of alleged corruption and cronyism was raised - mainly instigated by Maugham / GLP and despite all the headlines and bluster nothing seriously untoward as actually been found - in other words the smoking gun I've asked to be produce to backup all these claims simply hasn't been found - because there never was the corruption and cronyism in the first place - MP's don't award contracts - civil servants do.

However having said all that one issue that we (TROY and myself) discussed on here was that of Michelle Mone and her connections(?) to a company that did win a PPE contract.

I stated at the time that I didn't believe there was anything untoward in that company being awarded a contract (I still stand by that) but what seemed dubious to me was that it seem to appear that Mone looked to have deliberately not declared on record a prior interest when she became a peer (or when she did acquire an interest if it was after she became ennobled).

Reports in todays press seem to suggest police raids at her property.

Police 'raid lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone's home as they investigate firm over £203m of Covid PPE Government contracts'
Tory peer Lady Michelle Mone's home is believed to have been raided by police
Lady Mone, 50, is said to have been present during the search by NCA officers
The raid is apparently linked to a firm investigated over £203m PPE contracts

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10764881/Police-raid-lingerie-tycoon-Michelle-Mones-home.html

I suspect she has tried to be deceitful but that her company (if indeed it is, as suspected) would have been awarded the contract anyway if she had been honest about it in the first place.

Why do I think the firm would have won the contract anyway?  Well that's because Maugham/GLP took three specific PPE contact winning companies to court (Judicial Review)  Maugham/GLP didn't give any evidence on one of the companies (he/they realised they were utterly wrong in their case against it) but won an 'hollow' victory in terms of the other two, in that the VIP lane was deemed to be technically breaking the law BUT the judge ruled that the company's would have won the contracts anyway because they had immediate access to the Chinese PPE market (China manufactured the bulk of the world's PPE) - and so to did Mone's.

Although Maugham/GLP 'won' the case they were not granted a 'remedy' meaning they won in name only and had to pay their own legal costs.

I tend to think Mone is on a bit of a sticky wicket and hope she is found out if it is her company and if so prosecuted.

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