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Much of the last two years have seen governments globally in a purchasing panic due to the pandemic. Understandably there has been an increase in direct award contracts, in response to the health emergency.

However, there has been concerns over some fast-tracked and VIP procurement in some countries and last week, a report from investigative reporters [Four Corners]( exposed an Australian Government PPE contract worth an eye-watering $1.1 billion (AUD)awarded to Canberra-based company Aspen Medical. The contract was awarded without a competitive tender, to a company with no prior experience in the provision of such volumes of PPE.

Aspen Medical's pre-tax profits soared to more than $420 million through the pandemic, after combined losses of more than $7 million in the previous two years.

However, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), which investigated the tender, found that even though the due diligence processes were inconsistent and sometimes inefficient, the procurements were "largely consistent with the proper use and management of public resources".

The [Aspen Medical]( brand positions itself as a global provider of guaranteed, innovative, and tailored healthcare solutions across a diverse range of sectors - providing from a single paramedic to a full spectrum solution.

The company has been under additional scrutiny for its political connections and political party donations in Australia, as well as an alleged association with money laundering in Sri Lanka, as reported by [Ford Corners and Columbo Sunday Times.](

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If you read this article, you may enjoy [Public Procurement Has A Big Problem.](

Post by Fiona Hunt
June 16, 2022