§ Mr. Chris Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his powers to stop local authorities from acting in an anti-competitive way in respect of compulsory competitive tendering, with reference to his powers to compel local authorities to re-tender work where they have failed to ensure competition. 2W
§ Sir Paul Beresford
Section 19A of the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980 and section 13 of the Local Government Act 1988 give my right hon. Friend the power to serve a notice on an authority which it appears to him has acted anti-competitively in deciding to undertake certain work. If, after the authority has responded to the notice, it still appears to him that the authority has acted in this way, he can give a direction under section 19B of the 1980 Act or section 14 of the 1988 Act. The direction may be a complete or partial bar on the authority's power to carry out the work or require the authority to fulfil conditions including retendering the work, before it has the power to continue to carry out all or part of the work. My right hon. Friend judges each case on its merits, but does so against the background of statutory guidance issued under section 9 of the Local Government Act 1992.