§ Mr. Tim Smith
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the progress of the sale of custody services. 
§ Mr. Freeman
I have decided that Apax Partners and Co., the proposed acquire of the support services division of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, should be granted exclusive access to further information about custody services, with a view to its supporting a final bid for the business. Three other indicative offers were submitted, but I considered these to be unacceptable as they did not meet the objectives for sale. The bid for custody services will be compared with the option of retaining the business in the public sector.