§ Mr. Spellar
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement regarding market testing of the Roads Service agency. 
§ Mr. Moss
It is planned that the Department of the Environment's Roads Service will become a next steps agency on 1 April 1996. In common with other departmental agencies, it will be expected to move progressively towards becoming a purchaser rather than direct provider of executive services. In this context, the Roads Service agency will be looking to contract out strategically to the private sector many of its existing "provider" activities, subject to value for money considerations. This has resulted in the current suspension of market testing in the Roads Service.