Contracting scandals

04 Oct 2020
In the spring of 2020 the Trump administration pushed FEMA to award more than $760 million in contracts, bypassing the usual bidding process. The largest of these was a White House-ordered March $96 million no-bid contract to AirBoss of America for 100,000 powered respirators and filters for medical
10 Aug 2020
The UK Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government hired the AI firm Faculty, which had previously been contracted by prime ministerial special advisor Dominic Cummings to work for the Vote Leave campaign and which lists two current and former Conservative ministers among its shareholders
18 Aug 2020
In May 2020, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care hired McKinsey to help define the “vision, purpose, and narrative” of a permanent organisation to manage test and trace programmes. The new National Institute for Health Protection will be led by Baroness Dido Harding. McKinsey was paid £563
01 Feb 2020
The UK exams regulator, Ofqual, awarded a £46,000 contract for less than a month’s work providing “urgent communications support” to the small research agency Public First, which is owned by James Frayne, a close associate of prime ministerial special advisor Dominic Cummings, and Rachel Wolf, a
20 Jun 2020
Corruption scandals have added to Latin America’s challenges in dealing with the coronavirus. In Ecuador, prosecutors identified a criminal ring that colluded with health officials to sell body bags to hospitals at 13 times the normal price, and many others are accused of price-gouging for other
05 Aug 2020
In early August, when the UK government announced it was purchasing 90-minute saliva-based COVID-19 tests called LamPORE and 5,000 lab-free machines to process them, supplied by DNANudge, clinical researchers were dismayed to find that there is no publicly available data about the accuracy or
29 Jul 2020
Questions have been raised about an irregular process by which the Trump administration awarded a $10.2 million dollar six-month contract to Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies. TeleTracking has traditionally sold software to help hospitals track patient status; under the new contract it is
10 Jul 2020
Britain’s Cabinet Office awarded an £840,000 contract for researching public opinion about government policies, portions of which involved conducting focus groups related to Brexit rather than COVID-19, to Public First, a company owned by two long-term associates of Minister for the Cabinet Office
01 Jul 2020
A group of Democratic US Senators and Congressional Representatives have written to Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar asking for more transparency around the HHS Protect Now programme, which collects vast amounts of data, including coronavirus test results, from the CDC and state and
05 Jun 2020
Hours before OpenDemocracy filed suit to compel the UK government to release all the contracts governing its deals with a list of technology firms including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Palantir, and Faculty, the UK government released the contracts. Faculty is being paid more than £1 million to
04 Jun 2020
In the three months from March to May 2020 the UK government awarded at least £1.7 billion in contracts to private companies, most of them without a competitive tender process under emergency procurement measures put in place in March. A quarter of the 400 contracts that government departments have
09 Jun 2020
Data-driven companies like Experian, CACI, and Xantura are pitching their services to help UK local officials to identify people in need. Xantura and CIPFA, the accountancy body for the public sector, have teamed up to deploy a £15,000 tool that uses local authority data including the NHS’s
12 Jun 2020
The officials managing Florida’s 100-plus coronavirus test sites have asked the 1.3 million people tested so far for for names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and insurance information. Nearly 1,000 private labs process these tests, and dozens of contractor organisations collect swabs and