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Contracts (Value-For-Money Inquiries)

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to ensure that no contractual relationship exists between Messrs Biwaters and any firms of consultants Her Majesty's Government have employed on value-for-money inquiries, checks or audits on contracts assisted by the Overseas Development Administration.

At the time of commissioning the value-for-money checks on the two ODA-supported projects in which Biwater is involved, there were no contractual relationships between Biwater and either the firms or the individual specialist carrying out the VFM checks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what value-for-money inquiry or checks have been carried out by which consultants acting for Her Majesty's Government on contracts between Thailand and Biwaters which have been assisted by the Overseas Development Administration;(2) which firm or firms have been contracted to carry out the value-for-money inquiry audit or check required by the Overseas Development Adminstration on the British bid for the Green E'Sarn irrigation and forestry project in Thailand.

No firm offers of aid have been made in support of contracts between Biwaters and the Government of Thailand. Her Majesty's Government have been approached for concessional finance for the Green E'Sarn programme. We have indicated to the Government of Thailand our readiness in principle to consider this. Commercial negotiations have not reached the stage where a value for money investigation will be required.

To ask the Secretary of Slate for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date Sir William Halcrow and Partners were employed by Her Majesty's Government to carry out a value-for-money inquiry into contracts between Biwaters and Malaysia which received assistance from the Overseas Development Administration.

The value-for-money inquiry was commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry on 2 December 1985.