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Graphics (Supply)

Volume 126: debated on Monday 1 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ensure that when contract number CB/SL24B/0059 for the supply of graphics to the armed services is considered the needs of the end users will be fully taken into account.

For all contract tasks whether for equipments or services, including graphics, the end users define the work to be performed and monitor performance by the contractor.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy that, following the Department of Trade and Industry's initiative to help small businesses, he will ensure that when contract number CB/SL24B/0059 for the supply of graphics to the armed services is awarded, small companies will be given the opportunity of prime contractor status.

The phrase "prime contractor status" can be misunderstood. Depending on circumstances, award of contract can be direct between contractor and the Department, or some of the work can be sub-contracted by a main contractor. It would be wrong to try to forecast the result because tenders are not yet evaluated and will be considered on their merits. Tenders submitted, whether by larger or smaller firms will, of course, be given equal consideration.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy that, when contract number CB/SL24B/0059 for the supply of graphics to the armed services is awarded, consideration will be given to splitting this contract up between a number of prime contractors so that it is possible to measure the relative performance of the winners during the contract period.

Because tenders cover requirements in seven regions of England and Wales it is probable that there shall be a number of contracts issued as a result of the evaluation of tenders.