The government has been ordered to reveal the list of 47 companies which were awarded hefty PPE contracts via the ‘high-priority lane’ at the beginning of the pandemic last year.
The contracts cost the government some £12.5bn, despite a number of reports that some of the PPE acquired was ‘unusable’.
The Information Commissioner has told the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that it “failed to comply with its obligations” under the Freedom of Information Act, and now has 35 days to disclose the names of the firms.
The Commissioner warned that failure to comply with the request from the Good Law Project, may result in it being flagged to the High Court where it could be considered as a contempt of court.
It comes just days after Test and Trace operations were halted at a laboratory run by Immensa Health – a firm awarded a £119m government contract in November last year, despite only existing for four months prior to winning the multi-million pound deal.
Around 43,000 people were reportedly issued with incorrect negative Covid-19 tests from the Immensa laboratory.
Immensa is reportedly owned by Andrea Riposati, who also owns Italy-based PCR test provider Dante Labs. However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Dante over its treatment of customers since September.