§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Minister for Trade what arrangements there are in his Department to ensure that the Government's policy towards small firms is furthered through the procurement policy of his Department so that small businesses receive a proportion of all purchasing contracts issued by his Department; and what proportion he expects this will be in 1982–83.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
[pursuant to the reply, 15 December 1982, c. 155]: Suppliers to my Department are selected on merit, regardless of company size. Our current procurement policies do not discriminate against small firms, and we expect to apply the new measures designed to simplify the procedures for small firms seeking Government contracts which have recently been agreed. My Department is in fact only a small direct purchaser. We do not keep records of the size of firms to which contracts are awarded, and it is not possible therefore to estimate the proportion of contracts likely to be awarded to small firms in 1982–83.