October 09, 2020
The government has been accused of wasting “huge amounts of money” after reportedly spending millions settling a lawsuit over a Lighthouse Lab contract. 
Covid Testing IT Contracts To Avoid Scrutiny After Government Pays £2m Settlement
The BBC reported on Thursday that the government had agreed a settlement amounting to some £2m following a lawsuit over how it chose who should be awarded an IT contract for the new Covid laboratories. 
Diagnostics AI, a British company, claimed that it had been swept aside by officials in favour of UgenTec, a European company, despite allegedly spotting some of the positive Covid-19 cases its rival missed.
The company went on to sue the government, describing the procurement process as “unfair and unlawful”. 
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has vehemently denied any claims of wrongdoing, and is in the process of settling the case – which means their selection process won’t be publicly scrutinised in the courtroom. It also added that the final figure of the settlement remains subject to agreement. 
Some have criticised the government for the decision to settle, raising concerns regarding the transparency of the government’s expensive private contracts paid for with public money during the crisis. 
Shadow cabinet minister Rachel Reeves told HuffPost UK: “No public transparency, and plenty of money wasted: seems like that’s just how this Tory government likes it these days. 
“This government’s incompetent way of handing out contracts like these not only wastes huge amounts of money while local public services crumble - but more efficient and experienced British businesses also miss out while massive companies take the spoils with little transparency or accountability.”
The government has repeatedly been accused of maintaining secrecy around its Coronavirus spending, with a major HuffPost UK investigation published in August revealing “scandalous and shocking” revelations about the way taxpayers’ money was handed out. 
In the wake of the Diagnostics AI case, Steve Goodrich of Transparency International UK told HuffPost UK that months into the pandemic the government should be working to open up its tendering processes once more. 
He said: “Earlier this year, government was under immense pressure to expedite the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including shortcutting usual procurement processes.
“Whilst uncompetitive tendering sped-up supply chains, it has also raised valid questions as to who was awarded what contract, when and for how much.
“Now eight months into the pandemic, it’s time the public sector returned to open and competitive tendering to avoid further damage to trust and possible litigation.”
According to the BBC the contract Diagnostics AI missed out on was worth in excess of £1m, with settlement costs coming to an estimated £2m. 
The company had hoped that their software would be used in thee Lighthouse Labs – which were set up around the country in response to the pandemic – in order to determine whether the graphs produced following analysis of Covid testing swabs showed a positive or negative result. 
During a trial run of 2,000 samples, Diagnostics AI claimed there were issues with UgenTec’s analysis – alleging it had found negative results when they were positive or inconclusive. 
Diagnostics AI said it had taken legal action over the matter as they believed it was “significant public importance to highlight the serious and harmful consequences of a biased procurement process for the British public’s health.”
A spokesperson added: “NHS experts including leading virologists confirmed our findings - that the system the Lighthouse Labs chose was flawed and produced incorrect results. This gives rise to serious questions about the accuracy of the testing process.
“Diagnostics.ai provide the only system for accurate PCR result analysis that has been independently peer-reviewed and publicly validated by the NHS. 
“We hope that the issues raised in this claim will make the UK government reflect carefully on how vital it is to have an impartial, rigorous and comprehensively validated procurement process for the provision of all such crucial services”.
DHSC have slammed the company’s claims as “inaccurate”, with a department spokesperson saying: “We completely refute this inaccurate claim about the accuracy of results - the tests are reliable and effective, the laboratories that undertake them have been reviewed and assessed by experts and the percentage of false negatives or positives is tiny.
“This was a commercial dispute over a software contract where a number of factors were considered before it was awarded, which is still subject to final agreement over costs.”Diagnostics AI also sued two non-profit companies owned and financed by the government, UK Biocentre and Medicines Delivery Catapult (MDC), which were in charge of the process to decide which company to use for the Lighthouse contracts. 
The BBC reported that Diagnostics AI had repeatedly asked for information about what services were required by government and how their bid would be evaluated. 
According to the company, that information never came – though they say claim UgenTech were provided with the details they needed. 
In the situation of a national emergency, as declared by the PM, the government can have the power to procure services without going through the usual tendering process.
But Diagnostics AI claim that because the company had been recommended to UK Biocentre alongside UgenTec they were therefore both being considered – and so say the ensuing process was unfair. 
A spokesperson for UK Biocentre said: “The allegations are groundless; this was a commercial dispute. The software in question is being used widely in the Lighthouse Laboratories, in some NHS laboratories and abroad. 
“External quality assurance has confirmed that the PCR testing in the Lighthouse Laboratories (of which the automated diagnostic software forms part) is performing well.”
HuffPost UK has also MDC – which strongly refuted Diagnostic AI’s allegations in a statement to the BBC – for comment. Related... Revealed: Who Profited From The Government’s Coronavirus Spending Boom Revealed: Government Secrecy Over Nightingale Hospital Costs And Private Firms That Built Them
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Alice Marie Johnson Says Helping Others Get Pardons Better Than Her Release | TMZ
January 20, 2021
U52X1wmSAZc
Joe Biden Can Unite Country Right Away Says Historian Dr. Allan Lichtman | TMZ
January 19, 2021
BN-nsfNuxC8
Sen. Lindsey Graham Chooses Inauguration Over Trump Farewell, Heavy Security at Airport | TMZ
January 19, 2021
J4ufQ8v-quk
Clare & Dale Split, Michael & Lori Vacay and Cardi vs. Hamburger
January 20, 2021
NdUGK2e0onA
"Celebrating America" Inauguration Special Best Moments
January 20, 2021
1RNXWWWLY9o
5 Things to Know About Inauguration Poet Amanda Gorman | E! News
January 20, 2021
JvUXTQL1-0w
‘RHOSLC’ star Jen Shah on the dangers of calling women of color ‘scary’ | Page Six Celebrity News
January 21, 2021
LpT2GAwZOLA
'Sex and the City' stars then and now: How they've changed | Page Six Celebrity News
January 21, 2021
OCkpPfUnTjk
Social media influencer Alexis Sharkey’s cause of death revealed | Page Six Celebrity News
January 20, 2021
qkGNQDfKFeE
George Clooney & Michelle Pfeiffer Remember Drinking On The Set of 'One Fine Day' | Actors on Actors
January 21, 2021
KV_Xzrj4QHQ
Tom Holland & Daniel Kaluuya On Auditioning For Marvel, The Oscars And London | Actors on Actors
January 20, 2021
vRFTy9fdxwI
Netflix Shares Skyrocket Following Blowout Q4 Results
January 19, 2021
plCb9L5qQeQ
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
21
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Burnley
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Aston Villa
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Bayern Munich
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Manchester United
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Preston NE
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Bristol City
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Cardiff City - QPR
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Millwall
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Middlesbrough
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Luton
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
SC Freiburg - Eintracht Frankfurt
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - Union Berlin
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Arminia Bielefeld - Stuttgart
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Schalke - Koln
20
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Granada CF
20
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Celta Vigo
20
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Huesca
19
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Dortmund
19
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Chelsea
18
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Newcastle United
18
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - AC Milan
17
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Juventus
17
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Manchester United
17
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - Tottenham Hotspur
17
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Crystal Palace
17
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - SC Freiburg
17
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Fiorentina
16
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Mainz
16
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Chelsea
15
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Roma
14
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Crystal Palace
13
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Fulham
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.