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Raf Trainer Aircraft

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received following the award of the contract for the Royal Air Force trainer to Shorts; what is the substance of these representations; and if he will make a statement.

A number of representations have been received from British Aerospace. In particular, the company has expressed disappointment at losing the competition and said that it had believed that the final bid it submitted on 19 March for the PC-9 would have been cheaper for the Ministry than acceptance of the bid from Shorts for Tucano. This was definitely not so; the total acquisition cost would have been higher for the PC-9 than it was from the Tucano, as was also true of operating costs. British Aerospace has also asked both for the opportunity to be de-briefed on the trainer project which, following normal practice, has been granted and for a review of the ground rules governing such competitions.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether any contract for the supply of the Royal Air Force trainer has yet been signed with Shorts.

Yes. The contract was signed on 30 April 1985, following a letter of intent on 4 April 1985.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether, subsequent to the receipt of Short's bid for the Royal Air Force air basic trainer on 14 March, any member of his Department requested Shorts to make a revised offer;(2) why, on 15 March, the controller of aircraft of his Department's procurement executive requested a revised bid from British Aerospace for the new basic trainer for the Royal Air Force.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 May 1985, c. 262]: On 15 March controller aircraft rang Sir Raymond Lygo, managing director of British Aerospace, to confirm that Sir Raymond understood that the bid received by the relevant MOD contracts branch before noon the previous day was indeed its final offer. Sir Raymond indicated that he was not aware that this was so and shortly thereafter submitted a revised bid. At the same time controller aircraft rang Sir Philip Foreman, chairman of Short Brothers, who confirmed that its bid submitted before 14 March deadline was its final one.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will state the ranks and posts held of the members of the procurement executive who telephoned British Aerospace on 13 March to inform it of the deadline date for tender for the new basic trainer for the Royal Air Force; to whom he spoke; and if the call was logged by his Department.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 May 1985, c. 262]: The telephone call was made by the principal director of contracts, air, to the group commercial director of British Aerospace. Telephone calls in the Ministry of Defence are not normally logged.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions in the past the procurement executive has telephoned tenders for his Department's contracts or contracts worth more than £100 million giving the deadline date for tendering; whether this is the normal procedure within his Department; and on how many occasions such a telephone call has been confirmed by letter, telex or other written communication.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 May 1985, c. 261–2]: The original deadline for the receipt of "best and final" bids had been set by telex at 31 January. The telephone call made to British Aerospace on 13 March dealt only with the end-point for post-tender improvements to those bids and followed on previous discussions with the two firms who had submitted the most attractive bids. Written communications are the normal and preferred practice within the Ministry of Defence; the telephone is used only when this is more suitable for giving or receiving information in the time available, and such information is confirmed in writing where necessary.

Committees of Privy Councillors
Subject investigatedChairmanDate appointedDate reportedCmnd. No.
(i) 1955-May 1979
SecurityMarquess of SalisburyNovember 1955March 19569715
The Interception of CommunicationsSir Norman BirkettJune 1957September 1957283
Security in the Public ServiceLord RadcliffeMay 1961November 19611681
'D' Notice MattersLord RadcliffeFebruary 1967May 19673309
Interrogation of TerroristsLord Parker of WaddingtonNovember 1971January 19724901
Ministerial MemoirsViscount RadcliffeApril 1975January 19766386
Recruitment of MercenariesLord DiplockFebruary 1975August 19756569
Cabinet Document SecurityLord HoughtonJuly 1977October 19776677
(ii) May 1979-present
Falkland Islands ReviewLord FranksJuly 1982January 19833787
Committees of Inquiry commissioned by the Prime Minister
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(i) 1955–1968
Crown LandsSir Malcolm Trustram EveDecember 195417 May 19559483
The Organisation of the Atomic Energy AuthoritySir Alexander FleckOctober 195716 December 1957338
Health and Safety in the Atomic Energy AuthoritySir Alexander FleckOctober 195719 December 1957342
The Preservation of Downing StreetEarl of Crawford and BalcarresJuly 19571 March 1958457
The Windscale PilesSir Alexander FleckOctober 195717 June 1958471
The Misuse of Official FacilitiesSir Norman Brook5 November 195811 November 1958583
Security at the National GalleryLord Bridges26 September 196113 February 19621750
The Vassall CaseSir Charles Cunningham22 October 19627 November 1962(1871)
The Security Service and Mr. ProfumoLord Denning21 June 196316 September 19632152
Higher EducationProfessor Lord Robbins8 February 196123 September 19632154
The Organisation of Civil ScienceSir Burke TrendMarch 196223 September 19632171
Representational Services OverseasLord Plowden30 July 19622 December 19632276
The Remuneration of Ministers and MPsSir Geoffrey Lawrence19 December 196320 October 19642516
The Bossard and Allen CasesSir Henry Wilson Smith9 August 19656 September 19652773
The Civil ServiceLord Fulton8 February 196619 June 19683638
Defence ProcurementD. RaynerOctober 1970March 19714641
Dispersal of Government work from LondonSir H. HardmanOctober 1970June 19735322
Conduct in Local GovernmentLord Redcliffe-MaudOctober 1973May 19745636
(ii) May 1979-present
Non-departmental Public BodiesSir Leo Pliatzky1979January 19807197
Value of PensionsSir Bernard Scott1980February 19818147