Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

The contract DHSC signed with OptiGene, a small firm which produces Covid testing machines, is worth £323 million. It has been reported by the Daily Mail that the firm is so small it does not have to file fill accounts. Most of the details of the contract, contained in the annexes listed on ContractsFinder, have been totally redacted. Here are two examples:

https://atamis-1928.cloudforce.com/sfc/p...

https://atamis-1928.cloudforce.com/sfc/p...

The extensive redacting of almost the entirety of this contract significantly reduces transparency around why such a small firm was awarded such a big contract, and what the contract contains.

I would like to ask, 1) why has this contract been so extensively redacted? 2) Can you please give an outline of what information was contained in the annexes which were redacted? (Annex 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 6, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3, 4, 5, 7).

Yours faithfully,

John Lubbock

Department of Health and Social Care

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Mr Lubbock,

Thank you for your email.

The Freedom of Information Act only applies to recorded information such as paper or electronic archive material. As your correspondence asked for general information and an explanation rather than requesting recorded information or documentation, it did not fall under the provisions of the Act. It will be answered as general correspondence in due course.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Department of Health and Social Care

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Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lubbock,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1307161).

Yours sincerely, 

Piper Hewitt-Dudding
Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

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