§ Mr. Welsh
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he can make any estimate of the comparative efficiency of direct works departments and private firms; if he is satisfied with the performances of direct works departments in general; and, in particular, what advice he has been able to give to the Glasgow District Council Direct Works Department in order to improve their present record in house building.
§ Mr. William Ross
A general comparison is not possible but I see no reason why a well-run direct works department should not be at least as efficient as a well-run private firm. Local authorities make their own arrangements for the execution of works and responsibility rests with them for ensuring that they obtain value for money, whether they use private firms or direct works departments. Glasgow District Council has not sought advice from me on this matter nor have I offered any.