HC Deb 15 February 1978 vol 944 cc234-5W
Mr. Patrick Jenkin

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the action of his Department in issuing documents such as "The Attack on Inflation: Breaches of Incomes Policy: Purchasing Aspects" to local authorities suggesting that firms in breach of the voluntary pay policy should be discriminated against in the awarding of Government contracts.

Mr. Shore

Under phases 1 and 2 of the pay policy my Department issued two circulars: Circular 123/75 "Attack on Inflation—Local Authority Construction Contracts" and Circular 103/76 "The Attack on Inflation—the Second Year: Public Purchasing Aspects". These circulars urged local authorities to adopt the Government's own contractual procedures to guard against breaches of the pay policy. The circulars stated that local authorities would be informed of the names of any firms barred from future Government contracts, and that in general no new tenders should be invited from them, nor new contracts or significant extensions of existing contracts be awarded to them. In the event, no such list of names was circulated to local authorities under either phase 1 or phase 2.

My Department has not issued any guidance to local authorities on the question of public purchasing in the current phase of pay policy. Following consideration of new clauses for their own contracts, the Government will be reviewing the related but separate question of purchasing by local authorities, which are, of course, autonomous bodies.

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