§ Mr. Warren
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue guidance to local authorities as to the maximum and minimum number of tenders which should be invited on contracts for works bearing in mind the need for continuance of competitive tendering and the need to avoid putting firms to the considerable expenditure required to bid properly.
§ Mr. John Silkin
Ministry of Housing and Local Government Circular No. 79/67, which is still relevant, recommends the use of selective tendering, and advises that it should not normally be necessary to invite more than six firms, if preliminary inquiries have shown that the firms to be invited are willing to tender. The aim should be to invite the minimum number of tenders consistent with ensuring effective competition.