Skip to main content

Government: Procurement

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 12 September 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what criteria are used to determine whether to use (a) preferred suppliers or (b) reverse auctions in Government procurement projects; and if he will make a statement. (155231)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government do not have preferred suppliers. The Government's policy is that public procurement decisions are to be based on value for money. Public procurers must also adhere to EU procurement rules, based on principles of non-discrimination, transparency and competitive procurement. Within this legal and policy framework, it is possible to set up framework agreements, with particular suppliers, following an appropriate competitive exercise in line with EU rules.

E-auctions (or reverse auctions) are just one of a number of procedures and techniques available to public procurers under the public procurement rules. It is ultimately for contracting authorities to decide which procurement approach, including the use of e-auctions, is appropriate on a case-by-case basis, taking into account their obligations to deliver the best value for money for the taxpayer.

The Government are determined to improve public procurement as set out in ‘Transforming Government Procurement’, published in January this year. It defines the vision for an improved Government procurement service, has led to the establishment of departmental procurement capability reviews and has led to the introduction of a new major projects review group in the Treasury.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he plans to increase the use of reverse auctions as a procurement mechanism for Government (a) projects and (b) supplies; and if he will make a statement. (155234)

I have been asked to reply.

Government Departments are responsible for choosing the procurement procedures and techniques they consider most appropriate, including electronic (reverse) auctions, taking into account their obligations to achieve value for money for the taxpayer.

Many procurements are subject to the requirements of the EU procurement rules. These include specific requirements for the setting up and running of e-auctions. The Government have put in place a framework agreement to enable public authorities to choose providers to run e-auctions for them, consistent with those rules.

The Government are determined to improve public procurement as set out in ‘Transforming Government Procurement’, published in January this year. It defines the vision for an improved Government procurement service, has led to the establishment of departmental procurement capability reviews and led to the introduction of a new major projects review group in the Treasury.