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TB tendering must take account of quality, says BVA

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THE BVA has written to Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, about the Government's plans to procure TB testing services through a system of open tendering, urging him to ensure that the design of the proposed procurement exercise takes account of the quality of bids as well as price. The Association understands that Treasury officials are currently considering the approach to be taken during the tendering exercise and says it wants to make sure that they are fully aware of the issues at stake.

In a letter to Mr Alexander dated February 21, Robin Hargreaves, the BVA President, explained that the BVA was fully committed to the bovine TB eradication programme, with its members playing an essential role in its delivery, not only in testing cattle, but also in advising farmers on how to mitigate the risks of the disease.

He continued: ‘We remain unconvinced that a system of open tendering for bovine TB testing is the only way forward. However, we understand the financial pressures on government departments and agencies to deliver value for money across all services. We also want to work with government to ensure that TB testing is carried out to the highest standard. We have therefore participated constructively throughout the stakeholder engagement process in an effort to ensure …

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