John Bowers
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Anatomy of a recent scandal
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Demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) increased exponentially in England from March 2020 because of the COVID pandemic. The Department of Health and Social Care spent more than £13 billion on PPE during the period. The National Audit Office is the institutional hero of the general PPE tale, because it brought it to light by meticulous work over many months. But, as in other scandals, no one in government was really held to account, even though many health and other workers died because PPE was either missing or inadequate. The conduct of various Parliamentarians came under the spotlight. The House of Lords Committee on Standards launched an investigation into Lord Chadlington for breaching financial conduct rules relating to the award of £50 million worth of government contracts: one for £23.9 million for supply of coveralls and another for £26.1 million for hand sanitiser.

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Downward spiral

Collapsing public standards and how to restore them


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