HC Deb 04 June 1985 vol 80 c149
14. Mr. Thurnham

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he will be reporting on potential savings on his defence procurement policy.

The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Mr. Adam Butler)

The significant improvements in value for money which are resulting from our drive to extend competition in defence procurement have already been reported in this year's Statement on the Defence Estimates. Chapter 5 gives some notable examples, including the new Royal Air Force trainer, where the final price was as much as a third lower than the original estimate of what we might have had to pay. I also gave evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee on 11 December 1984.

All our recent experience clearly indicates that there are further and greater potential savings to be achieved from the continuing exercise of our competition policy.

Mr. Thurnham

Is my right hon. Friend confident that he can achieve the savings that are implicit in the Government's future expenditure plans?

Mr. Butler

Of course, no targets are set, but if present trends continue I hope for a very good result. It is significant that during the last month for which I have complete figures more than two thirds of new contracts by value were brought about through competition or priced otherwise by reference to market forces.