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Market Testing

Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many Departments have introduced market testing of their activities; and what assessment his office has made of the annual savings from this policy.

In November 1992, I announced that market-testing programmes of 36 departments, covering all the main Departments and most small ones. These programmes, for the period up to September 1993, amount to £1·5 billion, employing 44,000 staff.I shall report on the results of these programmes after the end of the period; but returns from departments indicate that in previous years savings from market testing have typically been around 25 per cent. of the original cost, even when the activity has remained in-house.