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The government has acted unlawfully over publishing details of contracts

(57 Posts)
MaizieD Fri 19-Feb-21 12:55:04

What the thread title says, really grin

At last, the government is being held to account for a wrong doing...but it took a good legal team and crowd funding to do it.

From the thread:


“The Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy” and “there is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the SoS breached his legal obligation to publish Contract Award Notices within 30 days of the award of contracts.”

The Judge went on to say: “The obligations imposed by reg. 50 (in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015) and by the Transparency Policy and Principles serve a vital public function and that function was no less important during a pandemic. (para 140)

The public "were entitled to see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded." This was important: “so that oversight bodies such as the NAO, as well as Parliament and the public, could scrutinise and ask questions"

The Judge was also clear our judicial review resulted in the admission of breach by Government, stating it was “secured as a result of this litigation and at a late stage of it” see para 154 in the Judgment:
The Judge also said our Judicial Review sped up the Government’s publishing of contracts: “I have no doubt that this claim has speeded up compliance.” (para 149)

The declaration from the High Court is hugely significant - if Government continues to fail to publish contract award notices within 30 days it is doing so in full knowledge it is breaching the law, and hindering scrutiny.

The Judge concluded: "if the publication had been on time…the First Claimant would have been able to scrutinise CANs and contract provisions, ask questions about them and raise any issues with oversight bodies such as the NAO or via MPs in Parliament" para 158

The judgment has significant implications for the series of further public interest challenges brought by Good Law Project around the Government’s procurement failures. Importantly, the High Court ruled that we had “standing” to bring the challenge.

We have now written to @MattHancock urging him to publish outstanding contracts; come clean about who went through the ‘VIP lane’; to recover money from those who failed to deliver non-compliant product and to undertake a public inquiry into PPE.



NellG Fri 19-Feb-21 13:02:39


Whitewavemark2 Fri 19-Feb-21 13:52:10

Yes saw that m.

So going forward, can we assume cronyism and treating the public purse as cash for friends will stop?

What about the vast quantities of public money already wasted, how will that be dealt with?

varian Fri 19-Feb-21 14:09:55

The corrosive influence of big money continues to undermine the integrity of the UK’s political system. Big money is openly solicited in return for political access and influence; it can secure positions of public office and titles of recognition; this exposes our democracy to manipulation by outside interests and casts doubt on whether public officials are acting in the public interest.

To remain relevant in a rapidly changing and uncertain world, UK political parties and politicians need to win back the trust of citizens. Dealing with the perception and reality of the corrupting influence of money on UK politics is a crucial part of that picture. Without essential reforms, a steady stream of political corruption scandals will continue to unfold.

In the absence of greater controls on the supply of funding, political parties will continue to face accusations about selling access and influence in return for money. Without greater transparency about their finances, it will be all too easy for them to evade scrutiny of their probity. In the absence of tighter controls on election campaign spending, the demand for funding will continue to push political parties to bend the rules and solicit funds with subsequent recognition.

Polarbear2 Fri 19-Feb-21 14:20:38

Excellent news !

varian Fri 19-Feb-21 19:15:09

High Court has ruled that Hancock acted unlawfully

Chardy Fri 19-Feb-21 19:31:04

It would be good if there were no future, similar ridiculous contracts. And perhaps the ministers responsible resign?

Urmstongran Fri 19-Feb-21 20:13:52

He'll be crying for real when he is next interviewed by Piers Morgan.

PippaZ Fri 19-Feb-21 20:56:09

It becomes clearer and clearer that the arrogance of some of those in this government have an overweening sense of arrogance as if, in some way they own the people of this country rather than being employed by the people. A definite Baron complex.

The amount they have said they are prepared to spend of the countries money in order to keep the contributors to that very money in the dark beggars belief.

Hetty58 Fri 19-Feb-21 20:56:41

As expected.

Urmstongran Fri 19-Feb-21 21:16:37

Don’t you remember the absolute panicky world-wide scramble to obtain PPE - masks, gloves, aprons? I’m not making excuses - I’m really not, but that all seems unreal now.

I can’t believe it was only 12 months away when there was no vaccine, real FEAR of this unknown virus, that Professor Neil thingumy telling us there would be half a million deaths if we didn’t lockdown etc. I think it was panic stations all round.

Grany Sat 20-Feb-21 06:33:51

Very good news.

Can anyone at the BBC explain that this is the lead story M&H not returning to RF - and not the fact that a high court judge just ruled that Matt Hancock broke the law in his awarding of multimillion PPE contracts? Dr Rachel Clarke

Urmstongran Sat 20-Feb-21 07:09:18

I thought the very same thing last night Grany. I bet nothing happens to him anyway. Unless they give him a pay rise & a place in the HoL for being the fall guy.

lemsip Sat 20-Feb-21 07:20:28

can anyone at the bbc explain

You don;t think the bbc read this forum do you.?

lemsip Sat 20-Feb-21 07:23:33

Covid: Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over pandemic contracts

there it is.

Grany Sat 20-Feb-21 07:40:20

The lead story online was M&H

Urmstongran Sat 20-Feb-21 08:16:49

Clickbait obv.

Smileless2012 Sat 20-Feb-21 09:58:16

The judge ruled Matt Hancock "breached his legal obligations" by not revealing details of the contracts issued within 30 days of them being signed.

That's not the same as breaking the law because of who those contracts were awarded too, which your post suggests Grany.

NotSpaghetti Sat 20-Feb-21 11:24:37

If Government continues to fail to publish contract award notices within 30 days it is doing so in full knowledge it is breaching the law, and hindering scrutiny.

So what’s the punishment?

MaizieD Sat 20-Feb-21 11:47:54


^If Government continues to fail to publish contract award notices within 30 days it is doing so in full knowledge it is breaching the law, and hindering scrutiny.^

So what’s the punishment?

An honourable minister in an honourable government would have resigned. Following, no doubt an absolute outcry of horror and indignation in the media. They would not have held public office again.

However, the former rules have all been ignored by The People's Brexit Government so nothing will happen as The People love them so much that the govt. can murder their grannies with impunity and still, inexplicably, be ahead in the polls.

Polarbear2 Sat 20-Feb-21 17:07:58

Tbf this depresses the hell out of me. It seems whatever they do there’s no comeback. In years past ministers resigned for far less. They are just totally arrogant. They weren’t worried about going to court because they know nothing will happen. And the media is so in their pockets it won’t be properly reported. I despair.

varian Sat 20-Feb-21 17:44:35

Are the media in the pockets of the corrupt Vote Leave government or is that government in the pockets of the tax dodging billionaires who control most of the British media?

Oldbat1 Sat 20-Feb-21 18:14:15

What a surprise! They are all multimillionaires but seemingly still don’t have enough money. Sickened. What do I expect to happen now? Probably next to nothing unfortunately. Being corrupt is seemingly something to aspire to in the lives of this Government mostly Etonian group.

Polarbear2 Sat 20-Feb-21 18:28:15

Varian - both I’d guess. Oldbat1- do you think if we closed Eton things would improve? It’s a thought 🤔

NotSpaghetti Sat 20-Feb-21 23:18:06

Exactly MaizieD