HL Deb 19 May 1982 vol 430 c794WA
Lord Brockway

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the rules of NATO require that construction in which it is involved shall be open to bidding for contracts on an international basis; whether the bidding for the construction of the bunker at Nap-hill, near High Wycombe, has been limited to firms using British steel; how much the cost of construction will be increased by this limitation in relation to an Italian offer; whether the resolution of this issue will involve delays and, if so, how long; and whether the restriction proposed may cause NATO to reconsider its contribution to the cost of constructing the bunker.

The Earl of Avon

NATO rules require that projects eligible for NATO funding shall be open to competitive bidding within NATO countries unless specific exemption is given. No exemption was given in the case of the new underground operations centre near High Wycombe and so NATO rules for international competitive bidding were strictly followed. Bidding was not limited to firms using British steel and there has therefore been no consequential increase in cost, or delay, and there are no grounds for NATO to reconsider its contribution to the cost.