Guidance on how contracting authorities should respond to COVID-19 was published on 18 March 2020. Authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances using regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. These include a direct award due to extreme urgency or the absence of competition. Under the regulation contracting authorities may enter into contracts without competing or advertising the requirement.
Suppliers will be evaluated by Departmental officials on their financial standing, compliance with minimum product specifications and ability to perform the contract. Contracts are awarded by the appropriate Departmental accounting officer in line with Departmental terms and conditions.
Several contracts have been awarded to Platform-14 for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) under the emergency regulations, with a total value of £276 million. Delivery is progressing for these PPE items. All items of PPE undergo a rigorous technical assurance process before they can be released for use.