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Regulatory Impact Assessments

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regulatory impact assessments have been produced by his Department since August 2001; and if he will list those produced (a) following initial consultation with affected parties about the most appropriate methodology for assessing costs and other impacts and (b) which set out full commercial impacts, including profitability, employment, consumer prices and competitiveness, as recommended in Good Policy Making. [28399]

Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office gave him on 17 January 2002, Official Report, column 483W.

Joint Working Groups

Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the Joint Working Groups operating under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement; and how many Joint Working Group meetings have been hosted in the (a) UK and (b) USA under the auspices of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement since May 1997. [29957]

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Dr. Moonie: The Joint Working Groups currently in existence under the terms of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement are:

Joint Working Group Title
6Radiation Simulation and Kinetic Effects
9Energetic Materials
22Nuclear Materials
23Warhead Electrical Components and Technologies
28Non-Nuclear Materials
29Nuclear Counter-Terrorism Technology
30Facilities
31Nuclear Weapons Engineering
32Nuclear Warhead Physics
34Computational Technology
36Aircraft, Missile and Space System Hardening
37Laboratory Plasma Physics
39Manufacturing Practices
41Nuclear Warhead Accident Response
42Nuclear Weapon Code Development
43Nuclear Weapon Environment and Damage Effects

Since May 1997 the number of meetings connected with Joint Working Groups which have taken place in the UK and the US is:

Meetings in the UKMeetings in the US
1997 (May onwards)6479
199878148
199978123
200066116
200161120

Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which United States departments and establishments were represented at the October 2000 meeting of JOWOG 32. [29958]

Dr. Moonie: The JOWOG 32 meeting at AWE in October 2000 was attended by representatives from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque.

Gulf Veterans Medical Assessment Programme

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what level of medical examination and assessment is required from those former and existing service personnel who are on the Gulf Veterans Medical Assessment Programme. [30433]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence's Gulf Veterans' Medical Assessment Programme (GVMAP) was established in 1993. As at 17 January 2002, 3,276 patients had been seen by GVMAP physicians. The GVMAP is located at St. Thomas's Hospital, London, and is open to all present and former service men and women or MOD civilians who believe that their health has suffered as a direct result of the 1990–91 Gulf conflict. Its two main purposes are:


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Patients are referred to the GVMAP by their doctors. There is no pre-determined medical criterion they need to satisfy before being seen. Patients are given a full medical examination by GVMAP physicians and a range of physical tests; investigations routinely conducted for all patients include urinalysis, haematological, biochemical, biological and serological tests, ultrasound scan of the abdomen and electrocardiography. These tests are carried out on the day of the appointment and take approximately four hours. Additional investigations and/or referrals to other consultants/specialists may be required. This is decided either during the initial appointment or in follow-up consultations if deemed necessary. Since May 2001, a small number of patients have been seen at a clinic held every two months and run by the head of the GVMAP in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Patients are given the same assessment as they would have received had they come to London.

The clinical findings from the first 1,000 service and ex-service patients seen by GVMAP physicians were published in the British Medical Journal on 30 January 1999. A paper on the clinical findings from the second 1,000 service and ex-service patients seen was published in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps on 29 June 2001. Copies of both papers—as too is a great deal more information of interest to Gulf veterans—are readily available from the Ministry of Defence's Gulf Veterans' Illnesses Unit (Freephone 0800 169 4495) and on my Department's website at: www.mod.uk/issues/ gulfwar/index.html. A clinical analysis of the first 3,000 service and ex-service veterans who have attended the GVMAP is being prepared for peer-review and publication in a scientific journal.

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to put the Gulf Veterans Medical Assessment Programme into independent administration. [30434]

Dr. Moonie: None. Medical Assessment Programme physicians already have complete clinical independence from the Ministry of Defence.

Accommodation

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been allocated (a) to improve armed forces single living accommodation and (b) to upgrade married quarters in the last three years. [25704]

Dr. Moonie: Over the last three financial years we have spent £283 million on upgrading single living accommodation, and £167 million on service family accommodation (SFA). A new modernisation programme for single living accommodation was announced in March 2001 by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. Worth some £1 billion, its aim is the upgrading of over 30,000 bed spaces within five years of the appointment of a prime contractor. The Defence Housing Executive has a continuing programme to upgrade the core of stock of service families accommodation by the end of 2005.

Medically Downgraded Personnel

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Army and (b) RAF personnel were medically downgraded on 1 April 2001; how many of

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these have postings which would require them to be operational or on rapid reaction duties if fit; and how many of these in each category are (i) awaiting an initial medical consultation, (ii) awaiting treatment following an initial medical consultation and (iii) receiving treatment. [28729]

Dr. Moonie: As at 1 April 2001, there were 9,635 medically downgraded personnel in the Army, many of whom would be deployable on military operations although not at the front line. At the same date, there were 3,888 medically downgraded personnel in the RAF, who were considered unfit for any type of deployment. Information is not held centrally on the numbers of medically downgraded personnel who have postings which would require them to deploy overseas on operations or rapid reaction duties, or on the numbers receiving treatment, awaiting an initial medical consultation or awaiting treatment following an initial medical consultation. Such information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Washington Treaty

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the practical consequences resulting from bringing terrorism countermeasures within the remit of Article 5 of the Washington treaty and how this may affect NATO's commitment to guarantee the security of WEU member countries; and if he will make a statement. [29630]

Mr. Hoon: The decision to invoke Article 5 following the terrorist attacks of 11 September was consistent with NATO's process of adaptation since the end of the cold war, and the alliance will continue adapting its capabilities to reflect changes in the security environment.

All WEU member states and associate members are also members of NATO; the security of these states is guaranteed by NATO under Article 5 of the Washington treaty.

Nancekuke

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 16 January 2002, Official Report, column 317W, on Nancekuke, whether there are records of equipment and materials being brought from overseas for use, storage and disposal at CDE Nancekuke. [29965]

Dr. Moonie: There are no surviving records which detail the origin of equipment and materials used at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Nancekuke.

However, records summarising the technical programme undertaken at Nancekuke indicate that in 1959, CN (chloroacetophenone) of both Belgian and Italian origin was transferred to Nancekuke. Some of the CN of Belgian origin was returned to Belgium during 1962 to 1967.

Additional anecdotal evidence also implies that some of the nerve agent production plant built at Nancekuke contained equipment originating from Germany.

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