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Questions raised over legitimacy of PPE procurement contract

Tuesday 7th July, 2020

The government is under pressure to explain why an obscure finance business was granted a £252.5 million government contract to supply face masks to the NHS and care workers, despite having no apparent record in the area, The Times reported.

In April, amid the coronavirus pandemic Ayanda Capital Limited was contracted to supply an undisclosed number of face masks to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The supplier, Ayanda Capital Limited is owned through an offshore holding firm based in the tax haven of Mauritius. The firm is headed by Tim Horlick, a former director of investment bank Kleinwort Benson.

During this time officials have been able to award contracts directly without prior publication, excluding the usual procurement timetables - for reasons of “extreme urgency”.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “The Government’s response throughout the coronavirus crisis has been to hand more and more contracts to companies with no expertise or a poor record of delivery. From PPE to the test, trace and isolate system there have been a series of glaring failures from private companies who are found wanting on performance and value for money.” as quoted in The i.