US firm paid more than £560,000 to help UK Government set-up test and trace body

American consultancy giant McKinsey was paid more than half a million pounds for a 40-day-long contract to advise the UK Government on the “vision” for a new test and trace body.

The US company agreed a deal in May to write a document setting out the long-term “mission and vision” for the proposed new organisation for the coronavirus programme.

The deal, first reported by Civil Service World, was worth £563,400 for McKinsey, according to a recently published contract with the Department of Health and Social Care.

It commits the consultancy firm to provide a document with “design principles for the organisation design exercise” and “high-level KPIs” (key performance indicators), as well as potential guidelines on the structure of the organisation.

The contract said that McKinsey “in keeping with its approach to ensure value for money for its clients” will not charge per hour or day of its time. Instead it charges for delivering a project by a date.

“This fee includes all time, expenses, overtime, weekend work and use of dedicated resources and consultation with other (McKinsey) experts who are not part of the full-time team.”

The NHS’s test and trace system was set up to monitor possible Covid-19 outbreaks, but it has been widely criticised.

“While this service is being rapidly stood up to meet near term objectives, work is required to develop options for the longer term future of the organisation responsible for this and associated services,” the contract states.

McKinsey was contacted for comment.

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