§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in what circumstances he encourages, condones or permits his Department, or agencies, bodies, organisations or partnerships financially supported by it, to award contracts which have not been subject to competitive tender; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Lang
My Department, executive agencies and associated bodies follow the general principles of the Government's pubic purchasing policy as set out in Government accounting. These are based on securing best value for money through procuring by competition unless there are valid reasons to the contrary. Competitive tendering is encouraged to maintain or improve standards and quality and to promote greater innovation.
There is no requirement within my Department to competitively tender for purchases which are less than £500 in value because the cost of the tendering exercise would be likely to outweigh any saving but even in these cases, buyers are encouraged to shop around for the best prices.143W