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Volume 300: debated on Monday 10 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to announce a decision on the possible relocation of GCHQ facilities; and if he will make a statement. [14905]

The invitation to tender for GCHQ's accommodation Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project has been issued to four private sector consortia. The tender responses are expected in Spring 1998 and will be subject to a process of detailed evaluation and post-tender negotiations. The complexities of this process make it difficult to predict when an announcement will be made relating to the possible relocation of GCHQ facilities, but it is not expected that it will be before summer 1998.