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Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 15 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contractual restriction prevents or inhibits defence contractors complaining publicly or to any third party about the treatment they have received from his Department; and whether any change in contractual terms to this effect is planned.

Defence contractors are able to discuss with officials of my Department to the appropriate level any complaints that they may have about the treatment they have received. Any dispute or difference between the parties is normally resolved by negotiation. However, if this is not possible our contracts include a provision which enables either party to refer the case to arbitration. Few such references are made. There are standard conditions of contract which preclude disclosure by the contractor of the contract or its provisions to third parties without my Department's consent. No changes are planned.