Subject, of course, to the necessary limitation of competition to reasonable dimensions in individual cases, I can give the hon. Member the assurance that opportunities to tender for these works will be spread as widely and as fairly as possible over the whole field of suitable firms.
That depends upon the type of job. We do not usually invite more than half a dozen firms for one job of a limited value. We could not invite 50 or 60 firms, because the industry would object to so many firms being in the running.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings (1) the form of contract proposed for the camps now being, or about to be, let; are the tenders that are being prepared based upon complete plans and specifications; and is the site in each case definitely settled and defined; and
(2) how much time was allowed to contractors who were invited to prepare estimates on contracts for camps now being, or about to be, let; are contractors invited to visit the sites; and, approximately, how many pages comprised the bills of quantities upon which they were asked to prepare their tenders?
I assume that these Questions relate to contracts of three camps which have recently been let. The tenders were required as a matter of extreme urgency, and normal procedure could not be followed. Complete plans and specifications were available, but bills of quantities had not been completed. Tenderers were therefore asked to quote a percentage reduction or addition on the Ministry's Standard Schedule "of Prices. The. contracts are in the Ministry's standard form. The sites had been settled and all tenderers had the opportunity of visiting them. Documents were handed to selected firms on 6th June and tenders were returnable on 9th June.
I can only answer that by saying that I have now established an advisory committee which will have access to the general information. I shall be guided very largely by their recommendations.