“Hiring Deloitte [to manage PPE procurement] was a funny thing to do. If there is a fire, you don’t call the auditor, you call the fire service.”
— said an anonymous clothing manufacturer based in northern England, who said Deloitte has ignored his company’s offers to make medical gowns for healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March.
So here’s what’s going on in the U.K.: The Cabinet Office hired Deloitte several weeks ago to advise government officials on personal protective equipment purchases. In March when the coronavirus hit England, it became apparent that healthcare workers were quickly running out of masks, gloves, and gowns, and a whole helluva lot more was needed.
So the government flashed a large spotlight in the London sky, like the Bat-Signal but instead of Batman’s emblem it had a silhouette of Boris Johnson’s head and messy hair, and asked manufacturers and wholesalers to make more PPE.
The government set up an email address specifically to receive offers from manufacturers and put a team of Green Dotters in charge of going through all the emails.
And that’s when the problems began, according to The Telegraph:
The email address was overwhelmed with offers – more than 8,000 at the last count. They ranged from major manufacturers like Airbus, to schools to make 3D visors and even elderly ladies offering the use of their sewing machines.
Hundreds of emails sent to the Cabinet Office address by wholesalers and manufacturers have been met with the same automated reply.
“Thank you for your offer of support,” the message reads. “We will be back in contact shortly to establish more information around the potential opportunity.”
For many firms, that was last they heard. Despite repeated emails and phone calls, the Deloitte team never replied.
Which is exactly what happened to the dude whose quote we used.
But hey, at least Deloitte has done a bang-up job in the U.S. building systems for states, like Florida, to flawlessly handle all their residents’ unemployment benefits claims during the coronavirus crisis.