§ 4. Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list his Department's current contracts with Electronic Data Systems.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. John Butcher)
My Department has no current contracts with Electronic Data Systems.
§ Mr. Dalyell
With regard to EDS contracts under discussion, has any Minister had cause to refer matters in relation to Electronic Data Systems and immigration rules to the Director of Public Prosecutions? What would other companies abroad think if major domestic Government contracts, of great value, went to this particular American company and if Plessey and Racal and a number of other British companies were intimately involved in competition?
§ Mr. Butcher
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for bringing certain matters to the attention of Ministers regarding the company's alleged view on how its employees treat our immigration controls. In the first instance, the allegations would be a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. If they were proved, we should need to consider whether that affected any particular EDS bid.
§ Mr. Eastham
Has it been drawn to the Minister's attention that some of the employees have been encouraged to falsify their work applications? If that is the case, will those forms be called in and examined by the Ministry, and will prosecutions take place?
§ Mr. Butcher
The manner in which any follow-up inquiries are made will, of course, be a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. My Department's remit is to consider its contractual arrangements with different suppliers and, of course, to offer some guidance to the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency on the current bid for the major Government data network contract. I note what the hon. Gentleman has said and will ensure that his views find a place in the right quarter.