§ Mr. Best
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what notification or facilities are given to foreign companies to allow them to tender for British military projects;
(2) if he is satisfied that British companies are afforded the same facilities for tendering for military projects in other European countries as those countries are given for tendering for British military projects.
§ Mr. Lee
Defence equipment is exempt from the EEC directive on Government tendering and countries pursue individual national policies on defence procurement. There are no fixed rules about tendering for military projects in Europe. We involve European firms in the procurement of United Kingdom defence equipments on a case by case basis whenever this is necessary to obtain the best long-term value for money in accordance with the criteria set out in the Open Government Document "Value for Money in Defence Equipment Procurement". In such cases it is our practice to negotiate satisfactory safeguards for the interests of British industry either through offset provisions or through other reciprocal procurement arrangements.