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Interview: John Higginson in PRWeek

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John Higginson spoke to PRWeek UK regarding the news that lucrative government communications and public affairs contracts are being awarded without a competitive tender process.

Mr Cummings has criticised a procurement process that “favours those with powerful political connections”. Using his own powerful position in politics to bypass procurement to award contracts to his own connections strikes of hypocrisy. The lobbying industry has tried hard over many years to shake off its unfair reputation for crony capitalism and this sets it back.

The emergency measures to bypass lengthy procurement processes were put in place to get PPE and other live-saving equipment to the front line of NHS services fast. Procurement of communications services, such as polling, are neither lengthy nor emergencies. There is a risk that by bypassing the competitive processes that are put in place to make sure market forces dictate the best service and best price is achieved, the taxpayer could be out of pocket.