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Protective Clothing: Procurement

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL9595, tabled on 26 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 26 October (HL8435), why the need to act with “extreme urgency” did not lead them to award a personal protective equipment (PPE) contract directly to the Chinese PPE manufacturers instead of to a company with no experience of an import on this scale, substantial losses in its most recently reported accounts, and significant net monetary liabilities at the time of the contract award.

Answered on

10 November 2020

The Government issued a public call to action to support the increased requirements of personal protective equipment (PPE). The aim was to reach these suppliers ie who had experience of supplying PPE and also those who had no prior experience but who had access to sources of PPE through their business contacts. This has resulted in 15,000 suppliers offering their help and support. All offers were prioritised based on volume, price, clinical acceptability and lead time – this is the time from an offer being accepted by the Department to the supplier delivering those items. These were often established private businesses whose net asset position is only one factor in evaluating their offer.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care