§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many contracts over £92,500 have been let by his Department in the 1988–89 financial year and in the current financial year to date; and how many of these were(a) automatically renewed and (b) open to competition by advertisement throughout the European Community.
§ Mr. Neubert
The number of contracts awarded by the Ministry of Defence and covered by the provisions of the EC Supplies Directive, for which the current threshold is £142,000 (or £92,000 if the requirement is also covered by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), was 503 in calendar year 1988. Of these, 396 were awarded following advertisement in the EC Official Journal and 107 were considered to be exempt from advertising and may have been awarded to the previous suppliers. The figures for calendar year 1989 will not be available until early 1990. Figures could only be provided on a financial year basis at disproportionate cost; The EC statistics for which MOD figures are kept being collected on a calendar year basis.