§ Mr. Tipping
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what tender documents were produced by the Government office for the east midlands in February calling for a strategy for marketing the competitiveness agenda for the east midlands; if he will place copies in the Library; how many companies responded to the request; what framework was used to evaluate the bids; which companies were successful; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Page
On 7 February 1996, the Government office for the east midlands,GO-EM, telephoned four local companies, inviting them to provide quotations for a small, short-term contract to help develop a plan for marketing competitiveness in the region. Each company was given the same oral briefing on GO-EM's requirements. Two of them requested—and were granted—meetings to discuss these requirements in more detail.
Three of the companies provided quotations. These were evaluated on the basis of value for money—that is, price and suitability. The contract was awarded to Audax Communications.
I am satisfied that GO-EM's actions in this case were wholly in accordance with the Government's public purchasing policy.