Holding answer received on 14 July 2020
Guidance on how contracting authorities should respond to COVID-19 was published on 18 March at the following link:
Authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances using regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015.
Over 1,000 contracts have been awarded to suppliers for COVID-19 related work, the majority through a direct award, i.e. which does not involve a competitive tender. The supplier will be evaluated by Departmental officials on their financial standing, compliance with minimum product specifications and ability to perform the contract.