HC Deb 03 April 1996 vol 275 c225W
Mr. Patrick Thompson

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what further information he plans to make available to Parliament at this stage of the privatisation of HMSO. [25219]

Mr. Freeman

An advertisement for the sale of HMSO appeared in the press on Tuesday 26 March. Potential bidders who satisfy the pre-qualification process will receive the information memorandum describing the business for sale shortly after Easter. The information memorandum has been written primarily to meet the requirements of these bidders. It contains commercially sensitive material and therefore, in order to protect the interests of the Crown, access to the information memorandum will be carefully controlled, with bidders signing a comprehensive confidentiality agreement.

However, in recognition of the unique role which HMSO plays by providing services which are essential to the smooth working of Parliament, I have already agreed that a copy of the information memorandum will be provided, on a confidential basis, to the Clerk of the Finance and Services Committee.

On further consideration of Parliament's particular interest in this privatisation, I have decided to arrange for an edited version of the information memorandum to be placed shortly in the Library of the House. This edited version will contain information relevant to the House's interest in the sale but will exclude commercially sensitive information.