Comment Reform statement 18 November, 2020

Reform responds to National Audit Office COVID-19 procurement report

Responding to an NAO investigation into government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Senior Researcher, Reform, said:

“There is clearly room for the Government to be a better customer throughout the remainder of the pandemic.

“The Government was right to expedite procurement to speed up the purchasing of vital goods, particularly PPE.

“But this is no grounds to skimp on transparency. Incomplete records of decision making and delays in reporting contracts damage accountability and leave space for accusations of cronyism – which erode public confidence.

“Emergency procurement without competition raises the risks of poor value and unfair awards, so it’s even more important that decisions are well documented and contract details are published quickly.

“This far into the pandemic we urge the Government to provide clear justification for any further emergency procurement without competition.”

For more information or to arrange an interview with Aidan please contact William Mills, Press and Communications Manager, 07596 949837 or