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Protective Clothing: Contracts

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL5912, tabled on 3 February 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department of Health and Social Care’s anti-fraud unit investigating personal protective equipment contracts (1) has passed, or (2) intends to pass, dossiers of evidence for criminal prosecutions to the Serious Fraud Squad.

Answered on

13 April 2022

Due to the emergency nature of the personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement, the Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit received referrals from varying sources on 37 contracts. In many instances, these reflected the exceptional circumstances surrounding PPE procurement and contract award. The Department acted to identify potential for fraud in PPE contracts with high-risk indicators. This prevented or terminated 11 contracts, which avoided a potential fraud loss of £157 million.

The Department takes allegations of fraud seriously and explores every available option, including working with law enforcement partners, where appropriate, to bring those who commit fraud to account. However, we are unable to provide details of ongoing counter fraud actions as to do so could prejudice the outcomes.