§ Mr. Atkins
[holding answer 12 June 1990]: Competitive tendering has been the long-term policy for the construction of the Department's motorway and trunk road schemes. Fee competition for consultants responsible for the preparation, design and supervision of construction of these schemes was introduced in January 1985. This has resulted in projected savings of about 25 per cent. on the total whole life costs of commissions placed in the first five years.
Local authority highway works have been increasingly exposed to compulsory competitive tendering since 1981 but information on which to base estimates of savings is not available. The Audit Commission has begun a study of effects of the 1987 and 1988 regulatory changes, which require all highway works over £25,000 and 60 per cent. of work at or below that threshold to be subjected to compulsory competitive tender.