Northern Ireland news

Sweet company awarded huge PPE contract to make final delivery

Lawyers for the company told the Irish News that there is now `one outstanding delivery for three million gowns'

A Co Antrim sweet manufacturer awarded a multi-million pound PPE contract is expected to make its final delivery of gowns next week.

Clandeboye Agencies Limited, which is based at Antrim's Rathenraw Industrial Estate, was awarded one contract by the UK's Department of Health on April 28 and a second on May 18.

It has been notified of an intention to pursue a judicial review by The Good Law Project and campaign group EveryDoctor.

The company is not accused of any wrongdoing but it has been claimed the contracts were awarded “seemingly without advertising or competitive tendering process” and the government "ditched the normal rules that secure good value for public money" because it was having to play catch-up on PPE at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

It is understood there is now only one outstanding delivery for three million gowns.

It is expected to be completed next week ahead of the contracted schedule date.

The Good Law Project, fronted by high profile barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, claims the government has "ignored" the usual rule that contracts should be published within 20 days.

The British government said millions of gowns under the first contract "have all now been made and paid for" and the remaining PPE is being "shipped on a weekly basis and are scheduled to conclude on 3 August 2020".

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