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Compulsory Competitive Tendering

Volume 226: debated on Wednesday 16 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for de minimis thresholds for white collar compulsory competitive tendering.

Current compulsory competitive tendering activities under the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 and the Local Government Act 1988 are subject to de minimis thresholds. Where the amount of work falls below these thresholds, authorities are not obliged to seek competitive tenders, though they can do so voluntarily if they wish.The Government accept the principle that de minimis arrangements should apply to CCT activities for professional and corporate services. We also accept that a local authority needs to perform adequately the core client roles which may not be suitable for competitive tendering and that de minimis arrangements should address these issues.It is our view that different de minimis thresholds may be appropriate for different services and that different bases for calculating these thresholds may be appropriate. For instance for some services a threshold based on the total value of the service may be appropriate, for others one based on the number of staff employed or a combination of the two may better meet authorities needs. The details of the arrangements to be applied will form part of the current discussions with local authority interests on the implementation of CCT extension. Further announcements will be made in due course.As with the existing services, local authorities will of course be free to tender services below threshold levels voluntarily.