No tender process for consultancy giant's Scotland Covid-19 vaccine roll-out contract

Global consultancy firm KPMG was handed a contract worth £640,000 directly without a formal tender process by the Scottish Government, it has emerged.

KPMG was handed a major government contract around the Covid-19 vaccine rollout
KPMG was handed a major government contract around the Covid-19 vaccine rollout

KPMG was paid more than half a million to help with the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine as part of its contract to provide support for the seasonal flu vaccine, a process Scottish Labour say was “botched" by the Scottish Government.

However, no other firms were offered the opportunity to bid for the work due to the contract being awarded directly, the Scottish Government confirmed.

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The private sector giant’s contract with the Scottish Government and NHS National Services Scotland was brought to light in November by the Sunday Mail, but the extent of its involvement was not clear.

It has now emerged KPMG played a pivotal role in the development of the “overall plan” for the vaccine roll-out, including working out how many people in each priority group require a jab.

The information shared by NHS NSS also suggests the consultancy firm played a key role in developing the instruction guide for Covid-19 vaccine delivery and technical support.

NHS officials said KPMG was hired to undertake work including: “Supporting our teams in analysing the trajectory of the potential numbers of people in each of the cohorts to be given the vaccine" and “working alongside our programme team to define the overall plan, the ‘critical path’ and the means by which the Scottish Government will check the readiness of the system for delivery”.

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson said: “Despite buying expensive advice from KPMG, SNP ministers still managed to mess up winter flu jabs, causing stress and anxiety across the country.

“That’s why the public have a right to know why the firm involved in the botched flu vaccination programme is anywhere near the Covid vaccine rollout.

“We’ve already seen chaos at Glasgow Royal Infirmary with staff continuing to queue into the evening for their jabs, and fears are growing that the cancellation and postponement of secondary doses is wasting precious time.

“People in Scotland are relying on the Scottish Government to run an efficient and transparent vaccination scheme.

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“We can’t afford a moment of time or a drop of the vaccine to be wasted. That’s why publishing daily data on the quantity of vaccine available and the number of people vaccinated is important and Nicola Sturgeon should commit to this immediately.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The vaccination roll-out in Scotland is on-track and is delivered by Scotland’s NHS. Along with the rest of the UK, we have already vaccinated a higher percentage of our population than most other countries worldwide.

"Given the scale of the unprecedented demand on health services and the need to run both the flu and COVID vaccination programme, KPMG were contracted to provide administrative support to NHS and government officials leading on planning and delivery.

"A number of contracts were previously awarded on a ‘direct’ basis due to extreme urgency. NHS National Services Scotland has since transitioned to frameworks and other 'open' tender procedures whenever possible for COVID-related procurement.

"All procurement has been robust, transparent and fully in line with legislation."

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