HL Deb 25 April 1991 vol 528 cc12-4WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they intend to publish the results of research into the effects of competitive tendering for local authority services.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Baroness Blatch)

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State has today published the full report of the first year's research into the impact of competitive tendering under the Local Government Act 1988, which has been carried out for us by the Institute of Local Government Studies. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House. The research confirms that competitive tendering has brought about improvements in the efficiency with which services are provided, combined with a renewed emphasis on the quality of service. In particular, it shows in the authorities studied that an average saving of 6 per cent. in the annual value of contracts subject to competitive tendering has been achieved, with savings often accompanied by improvements in service standards; that productivity improvements through manual staff reductions of the order of 17 per cent. to 26 per cent. have been secured in services subject to keenest competition; and that many local authorities are considering the methods and standards of service provision in a much more systematic way. The research is continuing for a further two years to permit a thorough-going analysis of contract performance and developments in local authorities over time.