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The UK government acted unlawfully in failing to publish details of dozens of contracts awarded without competition for goods and services such as personal protective equipment (PPE) needed during the covid-19 pandemic, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Chamberlain upheld a challenge by the non-profit Good Law Project to the failure by Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary for England, to publish notices for a “substantial” number of the deals, as required by law.

Regulations on public contracts allow agreements to be entered into without tender for reasons of extreme urgency brought about by unforeseen events. But regulation 50 of the public contracts regulations specifies that a contract award notice (CAN) must be published not later than 30 days after the award of the contract.

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Be Informed is a pan global information matrix of humanitarians focused on being a positive force for good in the world, helping to support, awaken and empower our global family with resources to become pro-active in creating positive change in the world.