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Computer Purchases

Volume 130: debated on Monday 21 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to introduce greater accountability for computer purchasing by the health regions; and if he will make a statement.

Decisions relating to the purchase of computer equipment and any other goods and services are for local health authority management to take, having regard to value for money. Such decisions are subject to normal audit scrutiny.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to introduce compulsory tendering for all National Health Service computer equipment costing over £10,000; and if he will make a statement.

The decision on what equipment to purchase and how to purchase it is a matter for individual health authorities, having regard to their standing financial instructions and value for money. The Department has, however, recently issued guidance which draws attention to current public purchasing policy, which recommends the use of competitive tendering.