Select Committee on Defence First Special Report


ANNEX G: Committee Recommendations: Progress (continued)

Second Report: Ministry of Defence Annual Reporting Cycle (HC 158) Published: 10 February 2000
Government Reply: Seventh Special Report (HC 452) Published: 9 May 2000

   Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
1.To continue with an annual restatement of defence policy in the form of a White Paper. (Para 10) Rejected, with qualifications—annual 'Memorandum' to be considered. Committee to consider other reporting documents.   No annual memorandum published.
2.That a Defence White Paper 2000 should be published. (Para 13) RejectedCommittee to consider other reporting documents.   No White Paper in 2000
3.That the government considers replacing the Annual Defence White Paper with a broader, cross-cutting publication, placing security policy in the wider context (Para 15) No response       
4.That the Committee is given access to the Departmental Plan (Para 17) Rejected       
5.To see some evidence of a more relaxed attitude to providing information to Parliament in the next Expenditure Plans report. (Para 19) AcceptedCommittee will take evidence on Spending Plans, January 2001   Next Plan due Spring 2001
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
6.That the thinking so far on improving the Investment Strategy report is laid out in the government's response to this Report. (Para 20) No thinking laid out, promise of improvement made. Committee will take evidence on next Investment Strategy, January 2001     
7.That the MoD to provide more information on its emerging OPA measures, and report progress in developing them more generally, in the Department's main reporting documents. (Para 36) Accepted.Committee to examine Performance Report 2000.     
8.That in future a clear analysis of the cross-departmental contributions in both policy development and expenditure is set out in the appropriate document of the annual reporting cycle. (Para 50) Noted.Will examine conflict prevention budget.   Spending Review 2000 established a 'Conflict Prevention' budget.
9.That future Performance Reports have a much clearer analysis of readiness and training levels. (Para 56) No direct response.Personnel issue inquiry in Session 1999-2000, Report due.     
10.To monitor closely the relationship between overstretch and overcommitment (para 69) No direct response.Personnel issue inquiry in Session 1999-2000, Report due.      
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
11.When the next major exercise programme has been determined we expect the Department to inform us whether exercises cancelled since 1 April 1999 have been reinstated. We also recommend that when in future major exercises are cancelled or omitted from the programme we are informed promptly after the decision has been made. (Para 71) To be considered.To be followed-up.     
12.There should be a general assessment of the new air manoeuvre brigade's effectiveness in the next Performance Report. (Para 80) Agreed.    Next Performance Report published December 2000.
13.That any reductions arising from an improved security situation in Northern Ireland should be used to relieve other areas of pressure on the defence budget, including those of overstretch and undermanning, rather than to provide financial savings. (Para 81) No direct responses     Committee visited Northern Ireland May 2000.
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
14.We look forward to continued efficiency gains as the programme of joint ventures is more fully implemented, and a convincing assessment of the improved effectiveness of these forces being set out in future Performance Reports. (Para 83) Noted.       
15.That the necessary resources are devoted to ensuring appropriate data are collected and analysed as part of a Corporate Personnel Database. (Para 89) Noted.Pursued in Personnel Issues inquiry, Autumn 2000, report due.     
16.That the MoD takes the action required to improve its performance in provision of welfare telephone as a matter of urgency (para 102) Under review.       
17.That initiatives to improve service families' education are pursued with real commitment (para 115) Accepted.Pursued in Personnel Issues inquiry, Autumn 2000, report due.     
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
18.That future Performance Reports give detailed figures on expenditure on programmes to improve accommodation, as well as quantitative figures of work achieved and planned. (para 117) Accepted.Pursued in Personnel Issues inquiry, Autumn 2000, report due. Next Performance Report published December 2000.
19.When the married quarters estate was sold amidst great controversy, £100 million was ring-fenced as the sum needed to bring all of the estate up to Grade One condition within a period dictated only by the practicalities of undertaking the work. That principle must continue to be honoured, whatever the assessment of the cost might now be. (Para 118) Accepted.Pursued in Personnel Issues inquiry, Autumn 2000, report due.     
20.To examine whether all three Services meet their 3% target for ethnic minority recruitment next year, which we would expect them to do, and look forward to evidence of real success in recruiting from ethnic minorities in the near future. (Para 124)   Pursued in Personnel Issues inquiry, Autumn 2000, report due.     
Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
21.To follow developments in the new code of practice relating to the employment of homosexuals (Para 128) N/ASee Fourth Report, Session 1999-2000     
22.That future annual Performance Reports give details of the Smart Procurement Initiatives achievements, whether they have already been realised or reflect projected savings on future budgets (para 133) Accepted      Next Performance Report due Autumn 2000.
23.That the MoD and the Treasury must agree firm ground-rules that guarantee that genuinely additional operational costs will be met in full, and only then should offsets be made to accommodate any budget-wide underspending. (Para 152) No direct response.     Subsequent 2000 Spending Review anticipated the creation of a multi-departmental Conflict Prevention Budget. Evidence to be taken in 2001 on the operation of this Budget, and its coverage of otherwise 'unprogrammed' costs.
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
24.That the Department to abandon its plans for the DERA PPP and for the proposed £250 million funding to be added to the baseline in the Spending Review now getting underway. (Para 157) Rejected.See Ninth Report, Session 1999-2000     
25.To collect information on all of the higher value efficiency measures claimed, and then to examine more closely a selection of case studies. (Para 160) Details of efficiency measured provided separately by the MoD.       Examination of case studies to be undertaken as part of inquiry on next Performance Report (due Autumn 2000).
26.The Department's finances should be rebalanced in the current Spending Review. (para 161) The SDR has given the MoD a better balanced and focussed defence budget, which is deliverable.      Subsequent 2000 Spending Review added £200m to 2000-01 budget, and a small real-terms increase in place of a cut for 2001-02. Further evidence to be taken in 2001 on defence budget.




 
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