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Stewardship Report

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he intends to publish the first Stewardship report promised in the Ministry of Defence's policy document, "In Trust and On Trust: The Strategy for the Defence Estate". [29723]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence will publish its first Stewardship report on the Defence Estate on Tuesday 22 January. This fulfils the commitment made when "In Trust and On Trust: The Strategy for the Defence Estate" was launched in June 2000.

"In Trust and On Trust" set out clearly the MOD's policies and priorities as well as performance targets against which the effectiveness of our stewardship of the estate could be judged. It also contained a pledge to report annually against the strategy's goals.

The Stewardship report which we are now publishing contains comprehensive information on the estate, covering both rural and built environments, and sustainability. This is the first time that the MOD has published such a comprehensive report on its estate. A copy has been placed in the Libraries of the House and also on the MOD website at

Departmental Publications

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many publications were issued by his Department in each of the last four years. [11838]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence produces a huge range of publications in both hard copy and electronic format. No central record is kept of these and it would not be possible to list each new publication as this could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

However our central corporate communications division, which is responsible for most corporate and policy publications, does have a record of the publications that it and its predecessors have produced. From the information available, the following main publications have been produced in each of the last four years:

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Military Police

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the proposed manning level is for each of the next three years for the (a) Ministry of Defence Police, (b) Royal Military Police, (c) Military Provost Guard Service and (d) RAF Police; and if he will make a statement; [26639]

Mr. Ingram: The current figures are as follows:

MOD Police(14)3,3953,328
Royal Military Police(15)2,1092,073
Military Provost Guard Service(16)528453
RAF Police(17)2,3842,265

(14) Figures as at 1 January 2002. Civilian support staff not included.

(15) Strength as at December 2001. Requirement is the Manpower Planning Target for 2001–02 Financial Year. Figures shown are the Adjutant Generals Corp (Provost Branch) which includes: AG(PRO)-General Police Duties (GPD), AG(PRO)-Special Investigations Branch (SIB) and AG(PRO)-Military Provost Staff (MPS).

(16) Strength as at 1 December 2001. Requirement is the current establishment figure for 2001–02 Financial Year.

(17) Figures as at 1 December 2001.

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Based on the known Ministry of Defence Police complement alterations, the overall staffing levels for the next three years are expected to be between 3,000 and 3,300.

The RAF Police are in the process of a major structural reorganisation with a view to reducing the requirement. The trained strength will be reduced over the next six to eight years to align with the reduced requirement. It is likely that the Military Provost Guard Service will increase to offset part of the reduction in the RAF Police but will be aligned to the strength reductions.


Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme of providing widowed spouses of post-retirement marriages with a pension based on all the pensionable service of the service men and women. [27199]

Mr. Ingram: Post-retirement widow and widower pensions (PRWP) were introduced as a requirement of the Social Security Pensions Act 1975. Provision was made in the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) for the payment of pensions to widow(er)s of service pensioners who married (or remarried) after retirement, but this change benefited only the widows of those giving service on or after 6 April 1978, and the widowers of those giving service on or after 6 April 1989. Only service on or after those dates was taken into account when calculating the level of pension. Against this background, it would cost in the order of £50 million to extend PRWP's to all current and deferred AFPS pensioners. This would be a one-off cost based on a broad actuarial estimate.

There is no distinction between service men and public sector employees with regard to the fact that the PRWP only applies to those with service on or after 6 April 1978, or 6 April 1989. It has been the long-standing policy of successive Governments that discretionary changes to improve the benefits from public service pensions schemes should be implemented from a current date for future service only. To extend the post-retirement marriage concession to survivors of members of all public service occupational schemes would cost between £300 million and £500 million.

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what formula is used for the annual uprating of armed forces pensions. [28868]

Mr. Ingram: [holding answer 21 January 2002:] Pensions which are already in payment are increased annually in line with the retail prices index under the terms of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (Pensions Increase) Order.

The increase in rate of pension payable to those who retire each year is broadly in line with annual pay increases. Armed forces pensions are not based on individual earnings but on a representative rate of pension for each rank. This 'band of brothers' approach ensures that all those who leave in the same year in the same rank and with the same number of years' service, receive the same pension. The representative rates of pension are

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linked to 'spot' rates of pay for each of the ranks. Annual increases in the spot rates of pay automatically increase the representative rates of pension based on them.

Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. [27986]

Dr. Moonie: The reported estimated cost to the Ministry of Defence, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies of fraud and theft in each of last complete financial years is as follows:



No abatement is made for subsequent recoveries. The figures relate to a combination of suspected and proven frauds and thefts with estimated values refined from time to time as investigations, sometime lasting a year or more, reach a conclusion. A significant element of estimated cost or value can relate to 'at risk' estimates applied to suspected procurement fraud cases, the majority of which are usually resolved as 'no crime' or have a proven value lower than original estimates.

Troop Deployments

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries in which UK troops are stationed, giving the numbers of troops in each case. [28742]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 January 2002, Official Report, columns 821–22W, to the hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin) which shows the number of UK regular forces serving overseas as at 1 November 2001 broken down by service.

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