asked the Minister of Supply whether he can make a statement upon the practice of his Department, in relation to the supervision of contracts let to private firms, and to the check exercised by his accountants or other representatives upon the costing charges of such contractors in relation to the use of materials, delivery of orders, number of men employed and the number of hours worked; and whether he is satisfied that contractors cannot be overpaid in relation to the goods supplied; and/or services rendered, at any point during the running period of the contract?
The supervision exercised over the execution of contracts varies according to the form of contract. It is not possible within the limits of a Parliamentary reply to give a detailed description of the various arrangements; but I am satisfied that they are in general adequate to prevent over-payment. Progress payments made during the execution of a contract are limited to a percentage of an agreed maximum price; and under this system even temporary over-payments are rare.
May I ask whether progress payments are made; and will the Ministre also state whether these payments are made on the certificate of the contractor or on that of his Department's officers?