Protective Clothing: Contracts

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22 May 2023.

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Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 16 May 2023 to Question 184346 on Protective Clothing: Contracts and with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled Investigation into the management of PPE contracts published 30 Mar 2022, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of that report's findings that not all due diligence checks on companies not were completed before contracts were awarded for personal protective equipment procurement.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The 2022 National Audit Office (NAO) refers to an ‘eight stage due diligence process’, a term used by the NAO to describe a structured process of checks and due diligence on potential suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) which formalised the checks quickly put in place by the cross-Government PPE procurement cell and which evolved in March and April 2020. The final step was the introduction of a central clearance board on 4 May 2020 to perform checks previously performed by the Department’s Accounting Officer to add an extra level of assurance that the deal met our requirements. From the start all suppliers were evaluated by officials on financial standing, technical compliance and ability to perform the contract.

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