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McKinsey won Dutch contracts without a call for tenders

The global consulting firm McKinsey was awarded contracts without a call for tenders in the Netherlands and it was an important link in the rollout of the "new normal" during the Coronavirus scare.

Published: August 14, 2022, 10:40 am

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    The Hague

    Data analyst Cees van den Bos has unearthed FOI documents about the role that consultancy firm McKinsey played in the Dutch government’s Corona approach. Wopke Hoekstra, who has served as second Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the fourth Rutte cabinet since 10 January 2022, was a partner at this consultancy firm prior to his ministry position.

    During the pandemic, McKinsey was awarded various contracts without a call for tenders and turned out to be an important link in the roll-out of the “new normal” and large donations to NGOs, Van den Bos discovered.

    The agency came up with ideas for a “tracing app” and there was also a relationship with Sywert van Lienden’s controversial mask deal. The real jackpot was however the vaccines. As early as May 2020, McKinsey made a powerpoint presentation and won the contract for vaccines.

    No due process in awarding lucrative contracts

    In a Twitter thread, Van den Bos remarked that the government should advertise such contracts publicly so that other companies also have a chance to compete. These rules were not followed. Contracts were awarded directly, sometimes on the instructions of Minister Hugo de Jonge.

    On 28 May 2020, Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer investigated the contracts awarded by McKinsey. It asked, among other things, about the plan that the bureau had drawn up. The response was that McKinsey had allegedly only been a “process supervisor” and had not drawn up a plan. But the FOI documents show that a plan had indeed existed.

    Van den Bos also discovered that there were ties between McKinsey and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Economic Forum. In 2020, the Netherlands transferred hundreds of millions to GAVI, among others, but also to Cepi, which was formed in 2017 by the WEF and the Gates Foundation to profit from the “next pandemic”.

    “In these lobby clubs, (your) money is made available, which goes to the NGOs. They spend it as they see fit, outside (procurement) laws,” Van den Bos observed.

    Statistician Fritsander Lahr noted: “It’s remarkable that at the beginning of May McKinsey was already helping to obtain vaccines that did not yet exist at all. But not really surprising if you consider that Hugo de Jonge was already saying at the end of April/beginning of May that vaccinating would be the only way out of the crisis.”

    McKinsey implicated in French corruption at the highest level

    A similar McKinsey scandal erupted around Emmanuel Macron. It was revealed in number 502 of French investigative magazine Faits & Documents. Profitable French industries such as Alstom were gutted by foreign investors, sparking unemployment and impoverishment.

    Macron has had to explain himself at length on the damning report of the Senate commission of inquiry on McKinsey’s involvement in state affairs to the tune of one at least a billion euros. The co-rapporteur of the commission, Éliane Assassi had noted that “whole sections of public policies were delegated to consultants, who however have no democratic legitimacy”. She added that it was a “deep intrusion of the private sector into the public sphere”.

    Even more damning is that the French Senate investigation confirmed that the McKinsey firm had not paid corporate tax in France for at least 10 years.

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