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Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will take steps to prevent any security services company (a) suspected of mercenary activity and (b) whose management personnel have expressed in public views approving of illegal actions or practices from being invited to tender for security contracts by Government departments. (112127)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issues open advertisements for its major security service contracts. These advertisements highlight the relevant pre-qualification criteria for companies wishing to be considered to tender for those contracts. Public procurement guidelines oblige us to invite tenders from companies who meet the relevant qualification criteria, subject to certain limits on the overall number of companies who are invited to tender.