Today Audit Scotland reported:
The Scottish public body that procured PPE during the pandemic acted fairly and appropriately when awarding contracts.
NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) used emergency procurement provisions to award PPE contracts without competition during the first wave of Covid-19. There was some variation in the contracts, but auditors were satisfied with the procurement arrangements.
No evidence of preferential treatment or bias was found in the awarding of contracts.https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/news/ppe-contracts-awarded-fairly
In November 2020, the National Audit Office said:
Today the National Audit Office (NAO) reports a lack of transparency and adequate documentation of some key decisions, such as why particular suppliers were chosen or how government identified and managed potential conflicts of interest, in the awarding of some contracts while government was procuring large volumes of goods and services at high speed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A clear trail of documents to support key procurement decisions was sometimes missing. The Cabinet Office asked the Government Internal Audit Agency to review six PPE contracts that have attracted media attention. The review found that while there was evidence for most controls being applied, there were some gaps in the documentation, such as why some suppliers which had low due diligence ratings were awarded contracts.https://www.nao.org.uk/press-release/investigation-into-government-procurement-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/