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Prisons (Private Finance Initiative)

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 14 November 1997, Official Report, column 692, what criteria are used to assess quality and confidence in deliverability in relation to the awarding of contracts to the private sector to (a) manage and (b) design, construct, manage and finance prisons; and if he will make a statement. [17771]

The Prison Service must satisfy itself that bidders are capable of building the prison to the required standards, opening it by the required date and operating it safely and securely with the required level of service in terms of prisoner regime or, in the case of management-only contracts, of operating it safely, securely and with the specified prisoner regime. Bids which satisfy these criteria are assessed on the basis of value for money. The methodology for evaluating bids for the first two design, construct, manage and finance prisons at Bridgend and Fazakerley, is described at paragraphs 2.7 to 2.11 and Appendix 5 of the recent Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on those contract awards (HC 253 Session 1997–98).