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Horizon Project

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the decision by the Post Office to write off the cost of the Horizon Project was taken in the knowledge of the Government's plans for a Universal bank in sub-post offices. [129986]

Mr. Byers: The Post Office decision was taken solely in the context of Financial reporting Standard 11.

Euro Policy

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when his Department was made aware of the leaking of the document from the head of the Invest in Britain Bureau relating to the Government's euro policy; and if he will take steps to establish how this document was made public. [129443]

Mr. Byers: On 2 July. An investigation is under way.

Foreign Investment

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the trend in the level of foreign direct investment into the UK since January 1999. [129445]

Mr. Caborn: On 5 July, Invest UK (formerly the Invest in Britain Bureau), announced at its Annual Review another record year for attracting inward investment projects into the UK. Between 1 April 1999 and 31 March 2000, Invest UK recorded 757 inward investment decisions to locate in the UK by foreign-owned companies, with some 52,783 associated new jobs over the next three years.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 29 June showed that at the end of the first quarter 2000 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in the UK had risen to £252.4 billion--up 23 per cent. compared with a year earlier.

Arms Sales

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements apply to end users of armaments (a) sold and (b) transferred by the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement. [129308]

Mr. Hoon: I have been asked to reply.

Most defence exports to Saudi Arabia are organised under Government-to-Government arrangements. I am unable to disclose specific details of these arrangements under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, but I can say that it is normal

10 Jul 2000 : Column: 374W

practice to include a clause in the Memoranda of Understanding which prohibits the transfer of material to third parties without the approval of the UK Government.

For exports not covered by Government- to-Government arrangements, the risk of diversion to third parties is taken into account in considering export licence applications.

DEFENCE

Departmental Transport

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on ministerial transport in each of the last two years. [98720]

Dr. Moonie: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to her by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, on 1 December 1999, Official Report, columns 255-56W. In addition, the Ministry of Defence, spent in 1997-98 £174,836 and in 1998-99 £179,707, on transport services for Ministers.

Queen Mother (100th Birthday)

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much public money has been spent on commemorations for HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's 100th birthday. [127909]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 28 June 2000]: The main event to mark Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's 100th Birthday will be a Service of Thanksgiving to be held at St. Paul's Cathedral on 11 July, and a Pageant to be held on Horse Guards on 19 July. Events to mark Her Majesty's Birthday on 4 August have yet to be announced.

Significant costs are likely to arise only from the Pageant on 19 July, which is being funded primarily from private sources. There will be some additional incidental costs borne by the Ministry of Defence. The actual additional cost of this, and of the other events, could be identified only when they have taken place.

I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and the Commissioner of Police for the City of London that no identifiable costs have yet been incurred by the Metropolitan police service and the City of London police.

Costs to the Royal Parks Agency as a result of the Pageant will be identifiable only following the event.

Defence Evaluation and Research Agency

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of his proposals for DERA on the number of staff employed by private companies at the DERA base at West Freugh. [128284]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer which Sir John Chisholm, Chief Executive of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, DERA give him on 29 June 2000, Official Report, column 593W.

Under our current proposals, we envisage that the capabilities provided by West Freugh will form part of the NewDERA company. It is, therefore, likely that the

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DERA staff at West Freugh would transfer to the private sector. The status of other staff at DERA West Freugh will continue unchanged.

We are confident that our proposals will secure a long-term future for both NewDERA and those elements to be retained within the Ministry of Defence, which should have a positive impact on job prospects. In addition, the new freedoms proposed for NewDERA will open up a range of commercial opportunities not previously available and help secure jobs in the longer term.

No final decisions on the PPP will be taken until all the inputs received during the consultation exercise, which ended on 9 June, have been fully analysed. We hope to be in a position to make an announcement on the way ahead for DERA before the summer recess.

Telephone Steering Systems

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many departmental telephone lines used by the general public are responded to by interactive voice response systems; [127399]

Dr. Moonie: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Former Civil Servants

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the posts assumed by the 14 officials who have notified his Department that they have taken up appointments in the private sector. [129012]

Dr. Moonie: The information requested is as follows:

NameAppointmentDate taken up
Field Marshal The Lord Inge GCB DLConsultant, British AerospaceJanuary 1998
Non-executive Director, Greenley'sJuly 1998
Consultant, Sedgwick GroupNovember 1998
Sir Moray Stewart KCBConsultant, Short Brothers plcFebruary 1998
Air Marshal Sir Michael Graydon GCB CBEConsultant, Willis Coroon HintonApril 1998
Non-executive Director, Thomson (UK) HoldingsJanuary 1999
Air Chief Marshal Sir William Wratten GBE CB AFCChief Military Adviser, Rolls Royce Military Aero EnginesMay 1998
Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin KCB AFCFellow of Strategic Forum SERCO DefenceJune 1998
Professor Sir David Davies CBENon-executive Director, ERA TechnologyOctober 1998
Member of the Strategy Board, British Aerospace Virtual UniversityDecember 1999
Sir Charles MasefieldVice-chairman, GECDecember 1998
Air Marshal G Robertson CBEMilitary Adviser, British Aerospace plcMarch 1999
Mr. M. J. V. Bell CBGroup Head of Strategic Analysis, British Aerospace plcApril 1999
Admiral Sir Jock Slater, GCB LVONon-executive Director, Vosper Thornycroft Holdings plcJuly 1999
Senior Military Advisor, Lockheed-MartinJanuary 2000
Lieutenant General Sir Robert Hayman-Joyce KCB CBENon-executive Director, ComaxSeptember 1999
Air Marshal I. D. MacFadyen CB OBEConsultant, Surestock Health Services (Unipart Group)November 1999
Air Marshal Sir Colin Terry KBE CBGroup Managing Director, Inflite Engineering Service Ltd.November 1999
Admiral Sir John Brigstock KCBChief Executive, St. Andrew's Hospital TrustApril 2000

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Information about applications approved by the Prime Minister under the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments by Crown servants is published in the annual reports of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to amend the rules that apply to senior officials from his Department joining private sector companies. [129014]

Dr. Moonie: The rules on the acceptance of outside appointments are set out in the Civil Service Management Code and apply to Crown servants in all Government Departments. The Defence Secretary has no plans to propose any changes to them.


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