§ Mr. Batiste
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which professional services within his Department have been subjected to market testing within the last 12 months and with what result; and which will be subjected to market testing within the next 12 months.
§ Mr. Curry
In the past 12 months, within the definition of professional and specialist services given on page 13 of the "Competing for Quality" White Paper, the following professional services have been subjected to market testing: the purchase of books and journals for MAFF libraries; pesticide evaluations; staff training contracts; general recruitment contracts. In all cases, the result has been the award of contracts to the private sector.
Over the next 12 months, the following professional services will be, or are currently being, market tested: IT systems, services and development; investigation services; staff training services; research and development; work carried out on MAFF's behalf by the laboratory of the Government chemist, the food science laboratory, Norwich and the central science laboratory; central services supplied to MAFF's agencies by MAFF.