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RULES ON TENDERING MAY BE RELAXED

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The Treasury may relax its insistence on competition in the awarding of public sector contracts, reports The Financ...
The Treasury may relax its insistence on competition in the awarding of public sector contracts, reports The Financial Times (p9).

Ministers are considering the move to overcome companies' reluctance to devise schemes to involve private capital in public sector projects, says the paper.

Companies have been reluctant commit resources to new proposals because they are required to go to competitive tendering.

Stephen Dorrell, financial secretary to the Treasury, is expected to set out a tentative framework today, allowing the competition requirement to be relaxed in 'exceptional' cases where a contract cannot proceed without access to the physical and intellectual property of a contractor and the contractor is not willing to grant this to other competitors.

This could only be done in cases not covered by the European Community rules requiring competition.

Ministers are also considering offering design-only contracts and the parital reimbursement of tendering costs, says the FT.

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