§ Mr. Currie
asked the Postmaster-General to what extent painting and other contract work for the Post Office in Northern Ireland is advertised for tender; and how far such contract work is awarded to the firm quoting the lowest price for the standard of work and materials required.
§ Mr. K. Thompson
Such contracts are put out to tender by invitation to suitably qualified contractors, rather than by public advertisement. Other things being equal, the lowest tender is accepted. A 197W contract for letter box painting in Belfast, which has just been completed, was let accordingly, after invitations to tender had been issued to eight firms. The Post Office does not place contracts for construction or maintenance of its major buildings in Northern Ireland: these are the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Government.