§ Mr. Beaumont-Dark
asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he will reconsider the Government's aim to suspend the preferential procurement policy in regard to computers due to take place at the end of 1980 until such time as the European Commission has harmonised the public procurement policy in regard to computers throughout the European Economic Community.
§ Mr. Channon
The Government's present computer procurement policy will continue until the end of 1980, when the exemption of computers from the rules in the EEC supplies directive comes to an end. As I announced to the House on 5 December 1979—[Vol. 975, c. 417–19]—the Government are examining the consequences after the end of 1980 for the domestic computer industry, of both the EEC supplies directive, which applies equally to all our European partners, and the GATT Government procurement code. That examination is still in progress. I will bear my hon. Friend's views in mind.