The professional services giant Deloitte has resumed bidding for Government contracts after being placed in the deep freeze by Theresa May over a memo criticising ministers’ Brexit plans.
Sky News has learnt that Deloitte has in recent weeks begun participating in at least one central Government tender process, ending the six month purdah it agreed last December.
The move will come as a relief to Deloitte, which relies on its work with Government for more than 5% of its UK revenues.
And it comes as Whitehall departments such as the Department for Exiting the European Union are seeking significant amounts of external support to deliver Brexit-related projects.
The crisis in Deloitte’s relationship with the Government was sparked last November by a consultant working for the firm
His memo had not been commissioned by ministers or civil servants.
It referred to a lack of Government preparation and “divisions with the Cabinet” over the Government’s Brexit priorities – ironically, both criticisms which have been levelled at Mrs May’s administration with increasing frequency in recent weeks.
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, and the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox have been at thinly disguised odds over the length and nature of a transition period after March 2019.
Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has also been drawn into the escalating row.
Deloitte’s memo prompted an apology from the global accountancy firm, saying: “This was a note intended primarily for internal audiences.
“It was not commissioned by the Cabinet Office, nor any other government department, and represents a view of the task facing Whitehall.
“This work was conducted without access to No.10 or input from any other government departments.”
Existing Deloitte contracts, such as work for the Ministry of Defence on accommodation for military personnel and the regeneration of the Palace of Westminster, were unaffected by the ‘ban’ on bidding for new work.
Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, Mrs May’s top aides, were widely seen as orchestrating the furious response to the memo
Delotte declined to comment on Monday on which tender processes it was now participating in, although a source close to the firm confirmed that it had resumed bidding for contracts.
The ‘big four’ firm’s latest financial results show that it recorded revenue from public sector clients of £188m out of total revenue of £3.04bn in the year to May 2016.