§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has yet received a report on the effect of official procurement policies, as requested by the Committee of Inquiry on Small Firms, Command Paper No. 4811.
§ Mr. Anthony Grant
Yes. We have found no evidence of discrimination against small firms and many of them compete very effectively for Government contracts: overall, their performance has not been out of line with their share of our gross national product. They also benefit as subsidiary suppliers and subcontractors. While there are no grounds for altering the principles underlying Government, purchasing we have indicated some procedural changes which we think could help more small firms to compete for Government business. There may also be scope for further simplifying forms. My hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has arranged for these points to be studied in conjunction with purchasing departments.