Firms given £1bn of state contracts without tender in Covid-19 crisis

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Ministers told not to use coronavirus as ‘blank cheque’ to evade accountability

State contracts worth over £1bn have been awarded to private companies dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, without offering other firms the chance to bid for the work, the Guardian can reveal.

In what amounts to a Covid-19 bonanza for some firms, ministers have suspended the standard rules to enable contracts to be issued “with extreme urgency”.

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