UK health department criticised for secret deal

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:281
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

    A £12m (€18m; $24m) joint venture involving the Department of Health and Dr Foster, a private company specialising in health information, was not subject to formal competitive tendering and could be open to legal challenge, a report from the National Audit Office said this week.

    Edward Leigh, chairman of the House of Commons committee of public accounts, who described it as a “hole and corner deal,” said the department may have paid some £4m more than its share was worth.

    The report says that the department is unable to show that setting up Dr Foster Intelligence represents good value for money. Dr Foster Intelligence is a joint venture with Dr Foster LLP, a holding company set up by the shareholders of Dr Foster Ltd.

    “This is primarily because they did not go out to tender to encourage fair competition,” …

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