“Every single procurement decision went through an eight-stage process.”

Michael Gove, House of Commons

July 8, 2021

Facts

When Michael Gove was questioned in the House of Commons about government procurement during the pandemic, Gove responded saying: “every single procurement decision went through an eight-stage process.” 

Responding to a written question from Labour’s Angela Raynor the following week, the Government backtracked and admitted that the important “eight-stage” procurement process wasn’t in place until the end of April 2020. Contracts awarded before this date avoided the eight point scrutiny process.

It said: “The eight stage process to assess and approve offers of support to supply personal protection equipment (PPE) evolved over a short period of time at the end of April 2020 to formalise the checks quickly put in place by the cross-Government PPE procurement cell in March 2020. Contracts with Ayanda Capital and Pestfix pre-dated the formalised eight stage assurance process but these suppliers were evaluated by officials on financial standing, technical compliance and ability to perform the contract.”

Verdict

Michael Gove’s claim was false. We went to great lengths to give Mr Gove the chance to challenge this judgment,  sending two emails to his office  giving him the opportunity to respond. We then rang his office where we were told:  “the consensus was that we were not going to provide a comment for that one.” 

Mr Gove’s false statement remains on the Commons record in defiance of the Ministerial Code

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