HC Deb 20 June 1996 vol 279 cc601-2W
Mr. Sweeney

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received about the feasibility of his plans to increase the efficiency of his Department; and if he will make a statement. [34098]

Mr. Lilley

I have received a number of representations about my programme to increase the efficiency of my Department by 25 per cent. A number of projects are already under way which will contribute to the achievement of this target including the redevelopment of the Department's Newcastle estate to provide significant savings in running costs while improving the working environment for staff through the involvement of the private sector.

Following the submission of proposals from three shortlisted suppliers, I am pleased to announce that a consortium consisting of AMEC Developments Ltd. and Building Property and Facilities Management has been selected as the preferred supplier to develop the Newcastle estate. Detailed negotiations will commence immediately and I expect a major contract under the private finance initiative to be signed later this year.