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Competitive Tendering

Volume 201: debated on Tuesday 14 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether his Department intends to issue regulations limiting the size of performance bonds that local authorities can require of contractors, with regard to compulsory competitive tendering; and whether he intends to consult with local authorities before issuing such regulations.

My right hon. Friend will consider, in the light of responses to paragraphs 1.21 and 1.29 of the consultation paper "Competing for Quality—Competition in the Provision of Local Services", whether, and if so, how, he should use his powers in clause 9 of the Local Government Bill, in relation to performance bonds. He will consult the local authority associations before using these powers.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) for how many services which his Department is currently considering as candidates for compulsory competitive tendering he intends to introduce de minimis provisions; what levels of de minimis will be set; and whether he intends to consult local authorities on this matter;(2) What advice his Department received with regard to the extension of compulsory competitive tendering on the issue of de minimis from PA Consulting Group; and what criteria will be used to determine de minimis levels.

PA Consulting Group reported to my Department, the Scottish Office and the Welsh Office last year on the feasibility of extending compulsory competitive tendering. That report is not being published.The question of whether there should be a level of activity below which the requirements for compulsory competitive tendering should not apply, and if so how that level will be defined, will be considered in the light of responses to the consultation document "Competing for Quality—Competition in the Provision of Local Services". I would expect to consult the local authority associations before defining any such level.