Steve September 30, 2020
serco-didn’t-build-and-does-not-run-the-nhs-test-and-trace-app

We’ve seen multiple claims that suggest the recently launched NHS Test and Trace app for England and Wales is not made by and owned by the NHS, but by Serco, a private company that is contracted to provide a range of public services.

Firstly, Serco played no role in the creation of the NHS Test and Trace app. This is shown in numerous ways—the company is not listed as a group involved in the app, which includes arms of the NHS, as well as staff from the private firm Accenture, and the company is not mentioned in relation to the app in coverage

Serco is not listed as processing any data in the app’s privacy notice.

Confusion may have stemmed from the fact that Serco does play a role in the Test and Trace process, rather than the app itself. Along with other companies, Serco is contracted to manage facilities at some regional test sites as well as some aspects of contact tracing via call centres for pillar 2 tests, (which are tests taken by members of the public). However, this work is separate from the app. 

It’s unclear where this claim first originated, although Russia Today did claim Serco were behind the app in May. 

Contracts awarded to Serco by the government can be found in the awarded and closed section of gov.uk’s Contracts Finder tool.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.

For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false
because Serco has nothing to do with the NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app.

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