§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in what ways he furthers the Government's policy towards smaller firms through the procurement policy of his Department.
§ Mr. Rifkind
Small firms are treated on the same basis as any other company tendering for Scottish Office business and are subject to the criterion, common to all Government procurement, of obtaining best value for money.
In order to assist small firms in identifying possible customers the Department of Industry has issued a booklet called "Tendering for Government Contracts". It is 119W available in Scotland from the Small Firms Information Centre in the Scottish Development Agency and provides information on contact points within Government Departments dealing with public purchasing. By this means, purchasing officers can be made aware of small firms interested in competing for their business; and this should enable them to compete more effectively for Government purchases of goods and services.