Purchase of Covid19 test kits in 2017/18

Bartholomeus Lakeman made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

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The request was refused by Department of Health and Social Care.

Bartholomeus Lakeman

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

“Data from the World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) show that in 2017 and 2018 the UK bought COVID-19 Test kits with the code 300215 and 902780 as Medical Diagnostic Test instruments, e.g. “COVID-19 Test kits (300215) exports by country in 2017. Top importers of COVID-19 Test kits are European Union ($17,131,541.68K, 2,759,970 Kg), Germany ($8,731,545.89K, 3,015,010 Kg), United States ($7,927,894.38K, 2,627,050 Kg), United Kingdom ($6,291,366.96K, 1,062,590 Kg)”. In 2018 the UK Govt bought said test kits under HS Code 902780 as 453,206.36 items each with a Trade Value of 1000USD. Said bought Medical Test kits/ Instruments, apparatus used in Diagnostic Testing are now classified by the World Customs Organization as critical to tackling COVID-19.

Please will you provide of above mention test kits purchases; the records, including:
1. The names of those involved in said purchase of test kits (code 300215 and 902780);
2. When these test kits have been used,
3. The validity and reliability of said tests;
4. Its relationship to the current used PCR tests;
5. Whether said purchase is related to meetings with CEPI, WHO, WB, Bill Gates, the IHR (2005) and/or the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board;
6. How the purchases ( promotion and use) of said Covid-19 test kits in 2017/18 do not breach the Fraud Act 2006 and Acts regarding the Govt.'s accountability.”

Yours faithfully,
Bartholomeus Lakeman

Department of Health and Social Care

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References

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Bartholomeus Lakeman

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'Purchase of Covid19 test kits in 2017/18'.

It is for the UK Govt. not creditable to deny that the World Integrated Trade Solution’ data shows that the UK Govt. awarded contracts about the covid-19 test kits. This due to the following:
1) The World Bank — in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and in consultation with organizations such as International Trade Center, United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) — developed the World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS). This software allows users to access and retrieve information on trade and tariffs.
2) The WITS data shows that in 2017 and 2018 the UK Govt. purchased COVID-19 Test kits with the code 300215 and 902780 as Medical Diagnostic Test Instruments for the value of about £6,744,572k.
3) For the Govt. /DHSC to award a contract; it has to do so under the rules, terms and principles of various regulations, e.g., Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCR), Public Law, Equal Duty and Transparency, HM Treasury Green Book, Art 107 Treaty of Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Which implies that these must be a record of any purchase made by the Govt or its departments: a record of the conditions, the reasons, and the weighing up of its criteria for deciding to purchase said Covid-19 Test kits.

Due to the abovementioned three facts; the DHSC must answer the questions raised in this FOI.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,
Bartholomeus Lakeman

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Dr Lakeman,

Thank you for your email. I apologise for the length of time it is taking to respond to your FOI request.

DHSC does not conduct internal reviews until a response to the initial case has been issued. Although organisations can choose to conduct an internal review to assess the handling process where they have taken more than 20 working days to respond, DHSC uses the internal review process once the initial case is complete to ensure that any exemptions that have been used have been applied correctly, and that all information within the scope of the request was considered.

We will therefore not be conducting an internal review. We will respond to your FOI request as soon as we are able.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Department of Health and Social Care

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Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lakeman,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref:FOI-1271829) and I apologise for the
delay.

Yours sincerely, 

Hazel Percy
Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lakeman,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref:FOI-1271829) with an amended date of 4
January instead of 7 January. I apologise for the error.

Yours sincerely, 

Hazel Percy
Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Bartholomeus Lakeman

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'Purchase of Covid19 test kits in 2017/18'.

The Cabinet advised me to forward the questions of this FOI (202015044) to DHSC: which I did on 12 Nov.
7 weeks later; on 5 Jan- DHSC replied "DHSC does not hold the information you requested. Covid-19 tests did not exist in 2017 and 2018."
However, I can supply you with a picture of WITS record/data of the UK purchasing said test kits in 2017.
On 23 Dec- DHSC received my request for an internal review because “It is for the UK Govt. not creditable to deny that the World Integrated Trade Solution’ data shows that the UK Govt. awarded contracts about the covid-19 test kits. This due to the following:
1) The World Bank — in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and in consultation with organizations such as International Trade Center, United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) — developed the World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS). This software allows users to access and retrieve information on trade and tariffs.
2) The WITS data shows that in 2017 and 2018 the UK Govt. purchased COVID-19 Test kits with the code 300215 and 902780 as Medical Diagnostic Test Instruments for the value of about £6,744,572k.
3) For the Govt. /DHSC to award a contract; it has to do so under the rules, terms and principles of various regulations, e.g., Public Contract Regulations 2015 (PCR), Public Law, Equal Duty and Transparency, HM Treasury Green Book, Art 107 Treaty of Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Which implies that these must be a record of any purchase made by the Govt or its departments: a record of the conditions, the reasons, and the weighing up of its criteria for deciding to purchase said Covid-19 Test kits.
Due to the abovementioned three facts; the DHSC must answer the questions raised in this FOI."

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,
Bartholomeus Lakeman

Department of Health and Social Care

This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health and Social Care. 

We are currently experiencing high volumes of enquiries and we are
focusing our resources on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The answers to many questions, including the latest information on
COVID-19, can be found on [1]GOV.UK, the [2]Department of Health and
Social Care website or by visiting the [3]NHS website. We may not respond
to you if the answer to your enquiry can be found on either of these
websites. Where a reply is appropriate, we aim to send a response within
18 working days, or 20 working days if your query is a Freedom of
Information request or complaint.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please
visit [4]111.nhs.uk or telephone your GP surgery immediately for further
advice. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital directly.

If you are a business interested in helping the government increase
COVID-19 testing capacity, please visit this [5]Government website. Please
note that the service to offer other COVID-19 support from your business
has closed.

If you are clinician looking to support the NHS, please visit the NHS
Professionals websitehttps://www.nhsprofessionals.nhs.uk/ for further
information. 

If you are a clinician who has retired within the last 6 years and would
like more information on how to apply for the temporary register, please
visit the NHS England
websitehttp://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/re....

If you want to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,
please visit this
website[6]https://www.gov.uk/volunteering/coronavi... for
more information. 

The Department of Health and Social Care does not process complaints about
the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the [7]Complaints Procedure page on GOV.UK.

You can find out more about the Department’s commitments from our Personal
Information
Charterhttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisati....

This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social
Care. Please note: Incoming and outgoing email messages are routinely
monitored for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic
communications.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
3. https://www.nhs.uk/
4. https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
5. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-the-gov...
6. https://www.gov.uk/volunteering/coronavi...
7. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Dr Lakeman,

Your requested internal review of FOI-1271829 is now complete. Please see the attached letter for the outcome.

Yours sincerely,

Charlene Carter
Freedom of Information Casework Manager
Department of Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0EU

show quoted sections

Bartholomeus Lakeman

Dear FreedomofInformation,
The Good Law project found that the Govt. obscures many contracts which are to the public eye inconvenient. The value of obscured contracts amounts to many billions credited by the tax-payers. It is not only the Govt who obscures contacts: World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) does as well.

WITS data show that the UK Govt. traded not only in 2017/18 but also in 2019 in Diagnostic Test instruments with the HS code 300215 and 902780. 300215 for the value of $2,320,394,51k. According to http://www.wcoomd.org/-/media/wco/public... topics/facilitation/ activities-and-programmes/natural-disaster/covid_19/hs-classification-referenceen.pdf?la=en relates HS code 902780 to COVID-19 Diagnostic Test instruments and apparatus Instruments used in clinical laboratories for In Vitro Diagnosis; as advised by the WHO.
According to WITS, in 2019 UK imported it for $319,514,00k and exported it for $493,928,60k as Diagnostic Test instruments and apparatus Instruments for In Vitro Diagnosis. However, WITS data also shows that said HS code 902780 with its export value $493,928.60k is described as Instruments and apparatus; for physical or chemical analysis, for measuring or checking viscosity, porosity, expansion, surface tension or quantities of heat, sound or light. Yet according to WITS; these HS codes 300215 and 902780 are Medical Test kits/ Instruments, apparatus used in Diagnostic Testing. The data here track previously existing medical devices that are now classified by the World Customs Organization as critical to tackling COVID-19.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio... to which DHWC refers: shows that this first coivd19 test kits were purchased in Aug- 2020 this in a relatively small amount. It was only in Autumn that it was purchased in a substantial amount. Whereas ‘Covid19 tests’ were used prior August; it means that the Govt implemented those test kits it had purchased in 2017 - 2019. As the WITS has recorded said UK Govt purchase of the test kits under HS300215 and 902780: DHSC is requested to look into the records which it has not disclosed to the public eye.

Yours sincerely,
Bartholomeus Lakeman