§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what arrangements there are in his Department to ensure that the Government's policy towards small firms is furthered through the procurement policy of his Department so that small businesses receive a proportion of all purchasing contracts issued by his Department; and what proportion he expects this will be in 1982–83.
§ Sir Keith Joseph
The Department is not a big buyer, but when so doing follows the Government's public purchasing policy that suppliers are selected on merit, irrespective of company size. The Department will, however, take into account the new procedures designed to assist small firms seeking Government contracts recently announced by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Industry. Information is not available on the proportion of contracts issued by the Department to small businesses.