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Volume 885: debated on Tuesday 28 January 1975

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service, where, in accordance with Government policy, a computer system of 1 Atlas Power or greater has been purchased from ICL by central Government or by a nationalised industry and it was not the cheapest, if he will tabulate the excess costs involved for each of the last five years, and indicate upon which Votes they have been carried.

It is not the practice to give details of the differences between competitive tenders. However, in accordance with the computer purchasing policy announced in the House of Commons on 2nd March 1971, all machines larger than Atlas purchased from ICL for central Government use since then have been acquired by single tender. The total cost in each case is carried on the Central Computer Agency Vote or the Vote of the Department concerned, depending upon whether the purchase is made on an allied service or repayment basis.As regards purchases by the nationalised industries, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Secretary of State for Industry on 26th November 1974.—[Vol 882, c.