§ 93. Mr. Arbuthnot
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made towards extending the range of companies competing for his Department's contracts.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
The Department's policy of seeking competition at all levels wherever it is reasonable and practicable is bringing significantly better value for money for defence and for the taxpayer, and offers excellent opportunities for companies to compete for MOD business.
The number of companies seeking registration on the defence contractors list continues to increase significantly. 190W About 38 per cent. more applications from companies wishing to join the list were received during the period October 1986 to September 1987, the last period for which figures are available, than in the preceding 12 months, and about 45 per cent. more were accepted. There are now just under 9,000 companies on the defence contractors list which are eligible to compete for direct MOD headquarters contracts. They cover a vast range of products and services.
In addition, our policy of requiring prime contractors to place subcontracts by competition wherever possible will have increased the range of companies competing at this level, although the Ministry compiles no statistics on this.