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Sheltered Workshops

Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish full details of those Government contracts which have been secured by sheltered workshops through the revised priority suppliers' arrangements put into practice last April; how many tenders from sheltered workshops were rejected in that period; if he will give the number of Government contracts and total expenditure involved for the preceding six months; and what steps have been taken to draw the attention of sheltered workshops to these revised arrangements through the sheltered employment procurement and consultancy services or other means.

[pursuant to his reply, 30 November 1979, c. 732]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission, which is responsible for the priority suppliers' arrangements, that the information requested on contracts awarded under the revised arrangements is not available.Information on the value of contracts awarded by Government Departments to priority suppliers, including both sheltered workshops and prison industries, is collected annually: the last available figure is in respect of the financial year 1977–78 when such contracts totalled £10·3 million.Steps taken to advise sheltered workshops of the revised arrangements include circulation of the terms, the issue of information sheets and visits by the director of the sheltered employment procurement and consultancy services and his staff.