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Revenue and Customs: Contracts

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 12 November 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with HM Revenue and Customs on its decision to invite bids from the private sector to take over the physical security arrangements at various sites in Northern Ireland. (234034)

As part of its Departmental Transformation Programme, HMRC is looking at ways it to improve the delivery and value for money of internal support and make a significant contribution to the Department’s overall efficiency targets.

HMRC’s manned security guarding services are currently provided through a mixed model of in-house and outsourced security guards, with over 60 per cent. of security guards already provided by external suppliers (primarily Mapeley) under contractual arrangements. In Northern Ireland, 15 HMRC sites are already manned by private security guards, with HMRC employing security guards directly at just two sites.

In August 2008 HMRC launched a fully competitive procurement exercise through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) to explore the option of outsourcing its remaining in-house guarding services across the UK. I expect HMRC to make further recommendations and to have further discussions once the procurement process is complete.