§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been recovered by his Department from companies found to be overcharging on contract work in each year from 1979 to date.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
Since 1979, the following refunds have been made by contractors following a post costing review of contract prices:
Year £ million 1979 3.1 1980 0.3 1981 0.3 1982 1.8 1983 1.1 1984 14.5 1985 3.9 1986 2.2
Post costing is undertaken selectively to establish the outturn costs of a contract compared with the costs on which the contract price was based. If the analysis of the post costing reveals a lack of equality of information at the time the price was fixed there would be grounds for seeking a refund from the contractor. Such post costing reviews are only necessary for contracts placed non-competitively, the number of which we aim to reduce.