Yorkshire Bylines: The truth about the billion pound PPE procurement fiasco
Posted by Sinister Burt on July 6, 2020, 5:33 pm, in reply to "Twitter thread about PPE contract given to Ayanda"
Thanks Mary. Some more in here: |
"Initia Ventures Ltd, providing business support service activities, filed accounts for a dormant company in January this year but received an order for £32m on 2 April and a second for £16m on 25 April.
Tower Supplies in Poole, Dorset – an established provider of PPE – won a £20m contract, which seems reasonable. Others had a connection, sometimes tenuous perhaps, with the medical supplies industry. But many, like Bristol shoemaker Toffeln Ltd who won a £1.1m contract for PPE on 4 April, had seemingly never supplied any PPE whatsoever in the past.
Monarch Acoustics Ltd of Nottingham, makers of shop and office furniture according to Companies House, received a £28m contract for PPE on 19 May.
Some recipients of large multi-million pound contracts had recently filed accounts for micro businesses meaning they had a turnover below £316,000 and 10 employees or fewer.
One such was Medicine Box Ltd of Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire. They were handed an order for £40m on 25 April, despite having assets of just £6,000 as recently as March this year.
On the same day, P14 Medical Ltd of Old Hall Street, Liverpool, which had liabilities exceeding assets by £485,000 in December 2019 with just £145 in cash and at the bank, was rewarded with a £116m contract for PPE.
Uniserve Ltd of Essex describes itself as the UK’s largest privately owned logistics and global trade management, and it is indeed a substantial business, but it is hard to see what experience it had in supplying PPE. Nevertheless, they received four contracts amounting to £172m between 14 and 22 April including this one for £86m. Uniserve’s website says, “It’s with great pride that Uniserve have been drafted in to assist in the management of the UK supply chains for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)”. But they seem to have transformed themselves from managing the supply chains to becoming a supplier as well.
A HR business in Eastleigh, Hampshire, SG Recruitment Ltd, received a contract worth £23m at the end of April. In 2018 they had a turnover of £392,000 and the previous year made a loss of £790,000.
One company, MGP Advisory (described as a venture and development capital business), appeared to be in danger of being struck off the companies register for failing to file accounts but was rescued by a contract for £825,000.
Jolyon Maughan QC uncovered the first such single-bidder contract with Pestfix Ltd, a tiny pest control business in Littlehampton, who found themselves with a £108m order for PPE on 10 April this year. The company is actually Crisp Websites Ltd, but trades as Pestfix Ltd and in November 2019 they had net assets (assets minus liabilities) of just £18,047. Their website says “PestFix Pest Control Supplies is a distributor of both professional and amateur use pest control products – including PPE.” The last two words have been added sometime between 15 and 22 June 2020, according to Wayback Machine web-archiving service.
This was a few days after Maughan broke the story on Twitter. He then revealed that Clandeboye Agencies Ltd, a confectionery wholesaler in Co Antrim, had received two contracts – one for £14.28m on 28 April and a second for £93.24m on 18 May. Next, Maughan revealed that Aventis Solutions Ltd of Wilmslow, with just £322 in assets, won a contract for £18.48m on 12 May. The biggest contract of all was placed on Ayardi Capital Ltd, a financial business, which was given an order for £252m at the end of April."