A family-run small pest control company got awarded a £108 million contract for supplying the National Health Service (NHS) of the UK with PPE at the peak of the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak.
PestFix, the pest control company that has only 16 employees and a net asset worth £18,000, got the contract in April at the time when the government was under immense pressure to meet the demand for PPE. It is one of the companies that were awarded multimillion-pound contracts for manufacturing masks, gowns, visors even though they lacked the experience in making those products.
Pest Control Company Making PPE
As per the information collected by the research company Tussel, the UK government spent around £340million on PPE. The chairman of parliament's accounts committee Meg Hillier said, "The need for PPE for frontline staff is urgent and critical but tendering outside the normal rules can be risky," as reported by The Times. She also mentioned that the committee along with the Nation Audit Office is going to scrutinize every contract handed out by the government.
PestFix, which is known for selling pest control supplies to customers got the contract after they responded to the government's call for help. The founder of the company Dan England mentioned, "Some of the bigger players that would normally be supplying this were perhaps not as quick to react or as dynamic."
'Fast-Tracked' Rules of UK Government
England did not make any comment regarding the amount of the contract. The deal runs for 12 months. Last month, the government had awarded £1billion of state contracts to companies that did not have any public tender.
Companies including the likes of Randox Laboratories and US-run Brake Bros were among the list who were given contracts as the government fast-tracked the rules on awarding the deals. Around 177 contracts were given to companies by the government out of which 115 got the contract as per the fast-track route.
The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 6.7 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 395,000 people in more than 170 countries. The United Kingdom has registered over 284,000 cases of the deadly novel virus and also recorded more than 40,000 deaths.