§ Mr Thornton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has for the future of the Crown Suppliers; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
A review will start shortly with the following terms of referenceTo consider the future of The Crown Suppliers and in particular whether it would be in the public interest to transfer to the private sector the activities, or part thereof, at present undertaken by that organisation; if so, how this might be achieved during the life of the present Parliament; if not, to recommend whether any change of status within the public sector would assist The Crown Suppliers in meeting their objectives.
The review team will be led by an official from the Cabinet Office with representatives from the Treasury and The Crown Suppliers. Advice from a merchant bank will be sought as and when necessary.
The decision about the future of the organisation will take account of the views of the staff and their union representatives who will be fully consulted during the course of the review.