§ Mr. Latham
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will announce the results of his review' of the operation of the legislation on direct labour organisations.
§ Mr. Stanley
The Government are taking steps to ensure that a greater share of local authority construction and maintenance work will be put out to competition with private building and civil engineering contractors.
A joint Department of the Environment-Welsh Office Circular—DOE circular 6/82-Welsh Office Circular 12/82—which is being issued today explains how the existing competition rules for direct labour organisations will be further strenthened by amended regulations and new directions, following a review by the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Wales of the operation of part III of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, which came into effect in England and Wales on 1 April 1981.
Under the amended competition regulations—SI 1982: No. 325—now before Parliament, from 1 October 1982 30 per cent. by value for works of maintenance below the £10,000 per job threshold, which was previously exempt from competition, will be required to be put out to competition when the total value of such work is in excess of £300,000 in a full year.
The threshold for competition for highway works is being reduced from £100,000 to £50,000 from the same date.
Under the new annual reports directions annexed to the circular, local authorities and development bodies will be required to identify publicly, amongst other matters, those contracts awarded to a DLO where the DLO was not the lowest tenderer.