HC Deb 11 November 1980 vol 992 cc262-3

Lords amendment: No. 10, in page 8, line 23, leave out "other".

Mr. Fox

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Richard Crawshaw)

With this we shall take Lords amendment No. 11.

Mr. Fox

The amendment removes an inappropriate restriction on the conditions that may be imposed on an authority's allocation of work to its direct labour organisation. The simple competitive conditions are fully detailed in subsection (4)—the requirement that tenders be invited from three other contractors and that the authority publish the results of that competition. It had always been our intention to impose these conditions, but we found on close examination that we had restricted the power to the imposition of other conditions, of an unspecified sort.

I hope that the House will agree that that is wrong. The amendment puts it right.

Lords amendment No. 11 clarifies a difficult piece of drafting in a delicate area of policy. We want to be sure that tender competitions are above board, and we therefore need to ensure that their results are open to scrutiny. At the same time, we do not want to expose the sometimes very sensitive details that lie behind many tender offers. We must respect tenderers' commercial confidentiality, or soon very few people will tender.

The amendment is also a welcome simplification of the drafting. I invite the House to accept it.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendment No. 11 agreed to.

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