To ask the Secretary of State for Education what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who were previously employed in any capacity by (i) the Conservative Party or its elected representatives and (ii) the Liberal Democrat Party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised.
We hold details of organisations that receive a grant from or were awarded a contract by the Department, but we do not hold any further detail about individuals within those organisations to know whether they were employed by or held an elected position of the Conservative Party or the Liberal Democrat Party. To provide this information would incur disproportionate costs to this Department.
With regard to grants, within the Department we have a stated aim, endorsed by our former permanent secretary, of competing all grants that the Department gives. Depending on the subject matter of each grant, we advertise on Contracts Finder:
http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk relevant trade websites or publications or on the Funding Central website:
With regard to contracts, it is the Department's policy to advertise all suitable contracts in either Contracts Finder (link as above), the Official Journal of the European Union:
http://ted.europa.eu/TED/main/HomePage.do or other publications relevant to the subject matter of the contract.
A suitable contract is one with a value over £20,000 and where the goods or services are not available via an existing framework agreement. Contracts with a value below £20,000 and which are not available from a framework agreement are competitively tendered by selecting suitable organisations to bid based on objective criteria.