§ Mr. McAllion
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what procedures are followed to ensure that the equal opportunities policies of the civil service are maintained if a function or service is contracted out as part of the market testing programme.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
If, following a market testing exercise, a function or service is contracted out but the individuals carrying it out remain civil servants they will continue to be covered by civil service equal opportunities policies.
Where services are contracted out to private companies, the Government do not intend to require particular employment policies and practices and such requirements will not be included in tender documents. EC directives impose restrictions on the Government's ability to take account of non-commercial matters. Subject to these restrictions, Departments and agencies may wish to give prospective contractors the opportunity to provide information on their employment policies and practices, including equal opportunities, that such contractors may believe is relevant to their ability to fulfil the contract for which they are bidding.