§ Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they believe that it is necessary to keep Section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988 in place; and, if so, why. [HL1867]
§ Lord Falconer of Thoroton
Section 17 of the Local Government Act 1988 sets out a number of noncommercial matters that local authorities are not permitted to take into account in contracting exercises. The order made earlier this year tinder the Local Government Act 1999 modified Section 17 and provided that, in respect of best value authorities, for certain workforce matters to cease to be defined as noncommercial for the purposes of Part II of the 1988 Act to the extent that they are relevant to the achievement of best value and also in circumstances where they are relevant to a TUPE transfer.
The European Directives for Public Procurement, which are implemented in the UK by various procurement regulations, require contracts to be awarded on the basis of non-discrimination, 12WA transparency, freedom of movement and competitive procurement principles. Section 17 is consistent with the European legislation and makes clear the need for local authorities to avoid introducing irrelevant considerations into the contractual process.