Request for information relating to the contract awarded to Ayanda Capital Limited

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

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

I understand that a contract for the supply of PPE equipment was placed with Ayanda Capital Limited in 2020 for a sum in excess of £250 million.

Under the Freedom Of Information Act 2000, I am requesting copies of any and all correspondence between:
- the DHSC (including any agent acting on their behalf)
- and Ayanda Capital Limited (Co. number 11014884), their directors or employees, other companies connected by shareholdings including any overseas companies, or any agent acting on their behalf.
Please include copies of all written correspondence including emails, as well as notes taken during meetings or conversations and telephone calls. I understand that this involves approx. 1100 emails in total.

However, you may note that this request has been made before but rejected by you. An appeal to the ICO led to you changing the reason for rejection from section 43 to a section 14 refusal. I am therefore changing the request to the extent that I am now asking for correspondence only up to the time when the order was placed - not after that date. This will reduce the burden substantially.

Furthermore, and for your information, I would mention that software is available which is capable of automatically scanning documents using AI to automatically redact predetermined items which could be identified in advance.

Thank you. I hope to hear from you shortly.
Yours faithfully,
George Woodhouse
February 4th 2022

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

If your enquiry is in relation to the pandemic, the Government has
launched a COVID-19 ‘hub’, which can be found
at [1]www.gov.uk/coronavirus and is regularly updated. 

The answers to many other questions can be found on [2]GOV.UK,
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If your business is interested in helping the Government increase
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organisation or a social care provider, please visit [14]this link.

 
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provider, or have any other NHS Test and Trace enquiries, you can
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treat your personal information.

 

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References

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George Woodhouse

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,
I made an FOI request which was sent electronically on 4th February 2022. By law, I should have received a response from you by 4th March at the latest, but to date, this has not been received.

Please would you deal with this request without further delay?
Thank you,
Yours faithfully,

George Woodhouse

George Woodhouse

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

This is a second reminder that the answer to this request is overdue - now by 10 days. Please could you supply the requested information by Monday 21st March 2022 at the latest?

Yours faithfully,

George Woodhouse

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Mr Woodhouse

Thank you for your message. We apologise for the delay in responding to your request (our ref: FOI-1392691, due 4th March). We are working to respond as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely
FOI team

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George Woodhouse left an annotation ()

I have contacted the ICO who have written to the Dept asking them to respond within 10 days.

George Woodhouse

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 the Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'Request for information relating to the contract awarded to Ayanda Capital Limited'.

I initially requested information on 4th February 2022 regarding the awarding of contracts to Ayanda Capital. This should have been provided by 4th March by law. I wrote to point this out to you and received an apology for the delay. I wrote to the ICO to complain on 18th March and they wrote to you on 26th March asking for the information to be provided within another 10 days.

So far I have received no further correspondence from you.
Please would you deal with this without further delay?

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

Yours faithfully,

George Woodhouse

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Mr Woodhouse,

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

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George Woodhouse

Dear FreedomofInformation,
Hi thank you for your message, However, I first requested this information on 4th February and by law, under all circumstances, the authority should have responded by now. More than double the legal amount of time has been taken so far. I received an apology for the delay after my first reminder but no indication was given regarding the date it could be expected. For this reason, I think the dept. needs to review their procedure for dealing with this long oversue enquiry

Thank you
Yours sincerely,

George Woodhouse

George Woodhouse left an annotation ()

DHSC review was refused because they will not review until a decision is made. I Informed ICO who have considered and posted following decision (including any steps ordered)

1. The complainant made a request for information on 4 February 2022
relating to a contract for the supply of PPE equipment.
2. The Commissioner considers that DHSC has breached section 10(1)
FOIA as it has failed to respond within the statutory time for compliance.
3. The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following
steps to ensure compliance with the legislation.
 Provide a response to the request in compliance with FOIA.
4. The public authority must take these steps within 35 calendar days of
the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the
Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court
pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt
of court.

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Woodhouse

Please see attached response for FOI-1392691.

I apologise for the delay.

There will be 5 further emails in respect of this response due to the amount of documents for release. In total you should receive 7 zip files containing information within scope of your request.

Regards

FOI Team

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

FOI-1392691 2nd email

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

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FOI-1392691 3rd email

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

FOI-1392691 4th email

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

FOI-1392691 5th email

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

FOI-1392691 6th email

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Woodhouse

Please see attached response for FOI-1392691.

I apologise for the delay.

There will be 5 further emails in respect of this response due to the amount of documents for release. In total you should receive 7 zip files containing information within scope of your request.

Regards

FOI Team

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FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

FOI-1392691 4th email

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Chandra Singh left an annotation ()

Fascinating reading. It's good to know where billions of pounds of taxpayer money went.

George Woodhouse

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 the Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'Request for information relating to the contract awarded to Ayanda Capital Limited'.

1. All the copy reports from the DHSC are in the form of emails. I had asked for copies of all correspondence/notes of meetings and telephone calls. I believe it unlikely that there were no meetings, telephone conversations or other correspondence between the parties. Please would you check this and provide full details if there is more, or otherwise that I have received everything including notes of verbal meetings.
2. No correspondence appears to have taken place directly with Ayanda Capital Limited, its directors, employees, or associated companies based in the UK or abroad, even though the order was reputedly placed with them. This also seems unlikely and I would appreciate your further investigation.
3. I agreed that prices, quantities and payment terms could be redacted if you believed it necessary for commercial reasons. But every single person's name has been redacted also, apart from Mr Andrew Mills, who was not an officer of Ayanda. I do not believe this is necessary and would like to have these names unredacted, please.

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

Yours faithfully,

George Woodhouse

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. 

If your enquiry is in relation to the pandemic, the Government has
launched a COVID-19 ‘hub’, which can be found
at [1]www.gov.uk/coronavirus and is regularly updated. 

The answers to many other questions can be found on [2]GOV.UK,
the [3]Department of Health and Social Care website or by visiting
the [4]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 20 working days.
 
Please note that the department cannot arrange vaccinations. [5]This
webpage gives information on vaccination. You can also contact your GP,
clinical commissioning group or call 119.

 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you must get tested as soon as possible.
The swab test takes less than a minute and is pain-free. Results from test
sites are generally received within 24 hours of the test being
administered. Further information, including what symptoms to look out
for, can be found [6]here.
 
If your business is interested in helping the Government increase
COVID-19 testing capacity, please visit [7]this webpage. Please note that
the service that was set up for businesses to offer other COVID-19 support
has closed. If you have a product to sell to the NHS, please visit
[8]https://www.supplychain.nhs.uk/.   
  
Since 15 February 2021, anyone travelling to the UK from a red-list
country has been required to quarantine in a managed quarantine facility
for a period of ten days. There will be periods where no countries are
listed, but the red list remains ready to be stood up should the global
epidemiological situation change. In these circumstances, there is
guidance available on a range of queries.

To find out how to apply for a medical or compassionate exemption, please
visit
[9]www.gov.uk/guidance/exemptions-from-managed-quarantine-for-compassionate-reasons.

If you have been in quarantine and have a complaint about the hotel,
please raise your concerns with the hotel itself in the first instance. If
your complaint is unresolved, please email the complaints team at
[10][email address].
 
If you are writing in connection with an NHS or social care service please
note that the department does not manage health and social services
directly, nor does it process complaints. It also cannot give clinical
advice or intervene in matters concerning patient care or social services.
If you wish to make a complaint about a healthcare professional, an NHS
organisation or a social care provider, please visit [11]this link.

 
If you would like to raise your concerns about a COVID-19 testing
provider, or have any other NHS Test and Trace enquiries, you can
contact [12]NHS Test and Trace enquiries, feedback and complaints. 

Our [13]Personal information charter and [14]privacy notice explain how we
treat your personal information.

 

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/coronavirus
2. https://www.gov.uk/
3. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
4. https://www.nhs.uk/
5. https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...
6. https://www.gov.uk/getting-tested-for-co...
7. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-the-gov...
8. https://www.supplychain.nhs.uk/
9. https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...
10. mailto:[email address]
11. https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-t...
12. https://enquiries.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/...
13. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
14. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

George Woodhouse

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 'Request for information relating to the contract awarded to Ayanda Capital Limited'.

I have already asked for an internal review for this case, but 6 weeks have now passed and only an acknowledgement has been received. Could you please review it without further delay?
Thank you.

[GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ] See email dated 24th June 2022.

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

Yours faithfully,

George Woodhouse

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Mr Greenwood,

Thank you for your email.

We apologise for the length of time it has taken to process your Internal Review request. Unfortunately, the Department’s response is not yet complete. We will issue our response as soon as possible.

Please accept our apologies for the delay.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

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Dear FreedomofInformation,

Thank you for your apology. Please note that my name is Woodhouse - not Greenwood, to whom you have addressed your email.
It has been roughly 3 months since I asked for a review of the decision to redact virtually all useful information from the response I received. I had hoped it would have been received a long time ago. Please could you provide a date when the review will be completed?
Thank you

Yours sincerely,

George Woodhouse

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Woodhouse,

Your requested internal review of FOI-1392691 is now complete. Please see
the attached letter for the outcome.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Internal Reviews
Department of Health and Social Care

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Chandra Singh left an annotation ()

Kerching!

George Woodhouse left an annotation ()

It is clear the government is wanting to hide from us exactly where these millions of taxpayers' money ended up or why Tim Horlick was the major beneficiary of so much of it. The excuse that Ayanda Capital "already had a foreign exchange bank account" is laughable. But we can be sure that a large element of it will escape UK taxation!