Govt tackles CCT moans

THE GOVERNMENT claims to have addressed complaints that many Tory councils have failed to embrace the spirit of competitive tendering.

Environment minister Sir Paul Beresford made the claim as his department published new draft guidance on private sector initiatives.

He warned that authorities had to take clear responsibility to ensure that their tendering process did not infringe competition law.

The announcement came after the Public Contractors' Association produced evidence that most Labour councils were "more receptive" to the private sector. It claimed that the tendering process was being manipulated by council officers to favour in-house teams, and added that Tories were less successful in tackling the bias.

But Beresford said: "The new guidance will answer complaints from contractors' organisations that local authorities haven't embraced the spirit of CCT.

"It will also address concerns that guidelines are too restrictive to local circumstances."