Coronavirus: Contact Tracing

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which suppliers entered bids for the contract to provide contact tracers as part of the Government's covid-19 test and trace programme.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department used to determine whether the bidders for the covid-19 test and trace contract had the necessary competencies to carry out contact tracing.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department made of the performance of bidders for the covid-19 test and trace contact tracing contract on previous Government contracts.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The contracts awarded to Serco and Sitel to provide call handling services for the contact tracing initiative were made using direct awards under Lot 2 of Crown Commercial Service’s Contact Centre Services framework which was varied under Public Contract Regulations (PCR) 2015 Regulation 72 to allow for direct awards for COVID-19 related procurements.

Crown Commercial Service undertook a pre-procurement exercise engaging with all suppliers on Lot 2 to understand which could establish the contract centre in the volumes required and the timescales needed. All suppliers on Lot 2 were engaged with, in order to ascertain capabilities to meet the contract output specifications.

Serco and Sitel are approved suppliers on the Crown Commercial Service contact centre framework. They gained their places through fair and open competition via an Official Journal of the European Union procurement. Value for money and capability were part of the assessment criteria. The Department has put in place arrangements to ensure robust contract management in terms of performance and quality standards in line with relevant guidance.

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