Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Editor’s Pick

Ministers’ efforts to claw back cash from PPE fraud branded ‘pitiful’

Ministers have been accused of making a “pitiful attempt” to recoup taxpayers’ money wasted on fraudulent Covid contracts, after it emerged that only a fraction of the estimated total had been recovered so far.

About £18m has been retrieved by the Department of Health and Social Care through checks on personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts identified as “high risk” and through “contract management”, the Guardian can reveal.

Will Quince, a health minister, said the figure was correct as of 12 December, and stressed that the government was working to “prevent loss”. However, the amount of taxpayers’ money clawed back is significantly less than that believed to have been lost through PPE fraud.

By January 2022, the DHSC said it had spent £12.6bn on PPE. It estimated that up to 5% of this could have involved fraud or error – worth £630m.

The Public Accounts Committee, which scrutinises the value for money of government spending, also said a stockpile of items worth £3.9bn was not needed. It added that there were disputes with more than 100 suppliers over £2.7bn worth of stock – mostly over concerns about the quality of PPE provided.

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesperson, tabled the written question to Quince that revealed the sum recovered so far. She criticised the government for having “frittered away” billions on useless PPE, and claimed the £18m figure was “a damning indictment” of the Conservatives’ record on “dodgy Covid contracts”.

Cooper said: “These pitiful attempts to recoup the money lost is adding insult to injury. Conservative ministers must step up efforts to recover the money wasted on Covid contracts handed out to their wealthy friends and donors during the pandemic.”

It is understood that the Lib Dems are planning to table an amendment to the forthcoming procurement bill, which will have its second reading on 9 January, to ban “VIP lanes”, through which contracts were directly awarded to some firms.

Cooper said the move would stop “this staggering waste of public money from happening again” by preventing preferential treatment in government procurement processes being given to organisations and individuals recommended by MPs and peers.

The use of the VIP lane has come under renewed scrutiny, after it was revealed that Michelle Mone and her children secretly received £29m originating from the profits of a business, PPE Medpro, that was awarded large government contracts and placed in the VIP lane after she recommended it to ministers.

The DHSC said: “We continue to sell, donate, repurpose and recycle excess PPE in the most cost-effective way, as well as seeking to recover costs from suppliers wherever possible to ensure taxpayer value for money.

“We are also exploring innovative solutions to reprocess excess PPE into materials or new products that have further uses.”

The department also said it had prevented £139m of fraud occurring because of extra checks put in place.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Editor’s Pick

<?xml encoding=”utf-8″ ??> The chain announced last year that it would be selling nearly 40 of its pubs due to the combined impact of...

Editor’s Pick

<?xml encoding=”utf-8″ ??> The highest taxpayers in the UK include a scrap metal dealer, JK Rowling, the founder of Gymshark, Sting and the Duke...

News

PIXABAY SYDNEY — Australia’s competition regulator said on Friday it would check whether influencers on social media platforms had failed to disclose their affiliation...

News

Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. — PEXELS KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s law minister on Thursday said a Luxembourg court had set aside...

News

A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken on Feb. 28, 2013. — REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/FILE PHOTO WASHINGTON — The Federal...

News

To reach more customers across the country, Globe, the leader in Mobile, is opening assisted registration in 30 branches of leading supermarket Puregold as...

You May Also Like

News

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

News

REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...

News

BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...

News

KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.