HC Deb 27 March 1996 vol 274 cc635-6W
Mr. Donohoe

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidelines are currently in force in his Department and its executive agencies relating to competitive tendering and the use of single negotiated tenders; on what grounds single negotiated tenders can be used; and what procedures are in place within his Department to ensure that the use of single negotiated tenders in competitive tendering processes is justified in all cases. [22853]

Mr. Arbuthnot

My Department has a number of formal internal guidance documents which detail the procedures to be followed on all aspects of defence contracting, including the selection of the procurement route most likely to produce best value for money. These are supplemented where necessary by occasional memoranda on developments in best practice or updated guidance on specific aspects. A process of delegated authorities constrains the selection of non-competitiveness procurement strategies to instances where the justification for these has been rigorously examined and approval obtained from senior staff, including Ministers in high-value cases. Arguments that may be considered persuasive in support of a non-competitive procurement strategy are the absence of user rights on design information, technical or commercial risk or operational urgency. While the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency and the Meteorological Office are responsible for the placing and administration of their own contracts, they none the less receive copies of MOD procurement guidance and their procedures are consistent with the description given.

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