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More questions for MP

Dear Sir

Copy of a letter sent to David Warburton MP

Dear Mr. Warburton,

I have asked you before about Serco’s role in our so-called NHS TTT system but to date have not received any comment from you.

Standing in Serco’s shoes, I can see clearly how it works –

Test the public’s credulity

Track the profits to our Shareholders

Trace the support from same.

I believe the CEO of Serco is the brother of Tory grandee, Nicholas Soames.  I believe Dido Harding is married to Tory MP John Penrose, a millionaire who voted with you against free meals during holidays. I also believe she is very goods friends with Matt Hancock, through their interests in equestrian life.

Do you know why no proper job description or adverts for the job of Head of Test & Trace were created?

It would be fascinating to know which MPs have shares in Serco or any of the other sub-contracted companies acquiring income from this set-up. Concentrix is one of these companies. You may remember they were also employed by HMRC a while back to look into tax credits fraud. It ended up with 87% of the people they said were fraudulent winning appeals and costing HMRC over £30million extra to sort out the mess they made in the two years they were allowed to work on the scheme.

You may remember the then-civil service chief executive John Manzoni said officials would “make sure” the firm were not awarded further government work “unless they could persuade us that they had got better”. Have they?

You may not have read the BMA report into outsourcing during the first wave of the pandemic, which draws some serious, but seemingly quite clear, conclusions. It suggests that public resources are being wasted on unnecessary private outsourcing, that outsourcing is being used to fill gaps created by underinvestment and that decisions to outsource have caused fragmentation of services, disabling a coordinated response.

On top of that there are huge, and legitimate, concerns with transparency and the robustness of procurement processes. The contracts awarded to private providers under special pandemic powers bypass normal tendering processes. The contracts that cover testing centres, laboratories, PPE procurement and staff recruitment are agreed without competition or public scrutiny, making it difficult to demonstrate value for money. Emergency procurement is said to have enabled a rapid response to the crisis but has reduced transparency around the contracts signed with private firms. Does the Government get ‘mate’s rates’?

On a lighter note, Sir Sam Mendes rang the Prime Minister to plead the case for re-opening theatres. After finishing the call, the PM failed to hang up properly and a third voice was heard to say “The last people we are going to let back to work are those (expletive) dancers!”

Any idea who that might have been? More cummings and goings.

I really do hope you feel able to answer some of my questions.

Steve Ehrlicher,

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