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Government Procurement Policy

Volume 689: debated on Thursday 11 February 2021

The end of the transition period provides an historic opportunity to overhaul our dated public procurement regime. We undertook an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement to identify where improvements could be made, and the recently published Green Paper sets out those long-planned proposals. The changes put value for money and transparency at the heart of the new approach and will cut red tape and unleash wider social benefits from public money spent on procurement.

Private providers of public services are excluded from freedom of information requests, which means that, for example, Serco does not have to reveal the 29 different businesses to which it has outsourced contracts. Does the Minister support the expansion of the Freedom of Information Act to the private providers of public services, or does she think that it is okay that that information should be kept hidden from the public eye?

Serco is an approved supplier on the Crown Commercial Service contract centre framework and gained a place on that through fair and open competition, but I accept what the hon. Lady says about freedom of information requests and I am happy to look into that further for her.