asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what guidelines are issued to the public sector, other than central Government, in connection with the purchase, whenever possible, of British goods or goods produced within the European Community;
(2) what instructions or advice he gives to Departments on purchasing policy; to what extent he advises Departments to purchase British or European Community produced goods wherever possible; and whether the instructions or advice he issues are mandatory on Departments.
Following a Government review of public purchasing the Treasury issued mandatory guidelines to departments on 17 March 1981. Sponsoring Departments have drawn these to the attention of those parts of the public sector for which they are responsible. Departments are required to achieve best value for money while seeking to assist the competitiveness of their suppliers. In the great majority of contracts British goods are successful; EC suppliers often achieve success in the other cases.