§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those parts of his Department or departmental agencies which were privatised without an in-house bid; if he will indicate the expertise which was absent in his Department or departmental agencies which prevented an in-house bid taking place; which future parts of his Department or departmental agencies he intends to privatise; and which of them do not have the necessary in-house expertise to mount an in-house bid. 
§ Sir Paul Beresford
Since April 1992, the Department's agencies, Property Holdings and the Planning Inspectorate, strategically contracted out—that is, without an in-house bid—two areas of work:
- Property Holdings: Professional Property Services
- Planning Inspectorate: IT Project Management
All the central Department's activities under the "Competing for Quality" initiative so far have involved in-house bids.
No decisions have been taken on which additional areas of work may be suitable for contracting out without an in-house bid.
Contracting out without an in-house bid can occur for example when a Department judges that the private sector is clearly better equipped to deliver a specific service, has a better understanding of market needs or has capacity to invest in new technology. A strategic decision to contract 248W out could also be taken where an activity has not previously been performed in-house or where an activity may be relatively small and peripheral to a Department's functions.