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Medical Treatment

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel by regiment have had medical treatment in (a) 2000, (b) 2001 and (c) 2002 to date under contracts with private sector providers; and if he will make a statement. [54132]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 7 May 2002]: The information requested is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. I am able, however, to provide figures on treatment provided under the Army Training and Recruiting Agency secondary healthcare initiative, the Waiting List Initiative, the Rapid Treatment Initiative and psychiatric care at Cygnet, Nuffield and Priory groups.

2002 (to May)1,04652201

Service Accommodation

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 22 April 2002, Official Report, column 9W and 15 May 2002, Official Report, column 640W on service accommodation, and with reference to paragraph 5.14 of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body Thirty-First Report 2002; what information his Department holds centrally with regard to repeat repairs undertaken in (a) single living accommodation and (b) service family accommodation; what information held by his Department with regard to (i) the cost to his Department and (ii) the number of repeat repairs can be supplied at proportionate cost; and if he will make a statement. [58658]

Dr. Moonie: The term Xrepeat repairs" is not a recognised description. It could be used for example to cover repairs carried out over a long period pending the major refurbishment of a property, or an interim repair followed shortly by major maintenance work. Both would in a sense repeat work already carried out. In neither case is the information held centrally, nor is it held in a consistent form. A large number of branches would have to be consulted to prepare a reply. This research and the identification of the information would involve disproportionate cost. Nevertheless, if the hon. Member would care to write to me and outline his specific concerns, I shall be happy to look further into the matter and write to him.


Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the refurbishment projects that (a) are in progress and (b) will start within the next six months; and what action is being taken to ensure that these will procure certified timber. [59766]

Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence's Safety and Environment Policy launched in 2000 requires MOD to comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1990,

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the Environment Act 1995, and other relevant statutory provisions and any additional requirements arising from international treaties and protocols to which the UK is a signatory. In particular, this policy includes a commitment to comply with the Government's strategy for sustainable development.

Guidance has been issued to all MOD acquisition officials which details the implementation of this policy and states that all timber or timber products should be procured form sustainable sources. In addition, tropical hardwood should be independently verified as sourced from forests and plantations which are managed to sustain their biodiversity, productivity and vitality, and to prevent harm to other ecosystems and any indigenous or forest dependent people. Where practicable, the use of reclaimed timber or timber products should be considered. All procurements must comply with international agreements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) where applicable.

Given the size of my Department's property holdings a large number of small scale refurbishment projects are underway at any given time, many as part of larger Works Services Management contracts. It is not possible to identify all of these individually without disproportionate effort. To ensure that certified timber is used in property construction, we have a standard contract clause which states that:

The major project of this kind currently underway is that to refurbish the MOD Main building in Whitehall. All timber used in the redevelopment will be from certified sustainable sources.

For the future, I anticipate that refurbishment work undertaken as part of Prime Contracts will comply with all current Government and departmental policy which would include procurement of certified materials.


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many computers were replaced in his Department in each of the past three years; how the replaced units were disposed of and by which companies; and at what cost. [60740]

Dr. Moonie: Details of the number of computers replaced annually in the Ministry of Defence are not held centrally. Since 1999 the Department has had a policy of redeploying surplus equipment wherever possible within the organisation. Once equipment is deemed to have no further use it is declared to the MOD Disposal Services Agency (DSA) for disposal. The number of computers disposed of by the DSA over the past three years is as follows:

YearNumber of Computers Disposed

The companies used by DSA up until April 2002 were Compaq and Sartek. Following re-competition the present contractors are Silver Lining and Re-Commit.

The disposals processed by DSA have provided a small net annual return to the Department amounting to some #30,000 over the three-year period.

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Members of Parliament (Personal Data)

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information is held by his Department on each hon. Member in relation to (a) personal relationships, both current and past, (b) financial status and dealings, (c) connections with companies and interest groups, (d) connections with Governments and (e) published works; and what was held in January 2002. [61832]

Mr. Hoon: Ministers and officials in this Department have access to published reference sources, as well as to the information about hon. Members made publicly available by the House authorities, for the purpose of parliamentary business.


Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when ASRAAM will be operational on Tornado F3; and what progress has been made on the integration of the weapon onto that aircraft. [62235]

Dr. Moonie: Integration of the Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) on Tornado F3 has been completed. We expect associated safety, training and other evaluation activities to complete in time to enable operational deployment of ASRAAM later this year. However, as my response to the hon. Member on 26 February, Official Report, column 1139W made clear, the missile has been available for operational use, if needed, for some time.

Civil Emergencies

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment has been made of the possible use of Armed Services Reserves for supporting civilian authorities in major civil emergencies; and if he will make a statement. [63064]

Mr. Hoon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 June, Official Report, columns 1259–60W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Mr. Reed).


Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people form organisations outside his Department have been seconded to start work in his Department since 1 January 1999. [63072]

Dr. Moonie: 47 individuals have been seconded to the Ministry of Defence since 1 January 1999.

Porton Down

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 1 May 2002, Official Report, column 789W, on Porton Down, if he will place in the Library a copy of the protocol drawn by the chemical defence establishment for the experiment

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which was recorded in 1985 in the report, XEvaluation of pyrodostigmine bromide as a pre-treatment for nerve agent poisoning in man"; when the ethics committee overseeing the human experiments at the chemical defence establishment scrutinised this experiment; and if he will place in the Library copies of the papers of the committee which relate to the discussion of this experiment. [63044]

Dr. Moonie: The 1985 report summarises the results of several distinct trials, each of which was covered by a separate experimental protocol. I will make arrangements to have these placed in the Library of the House. The protocols describe a variety of pharmokinetic and pharmodynamic studies necessary to provide the information required for the product licence application, as submitted to the DHSS.

Scrutiny of these research protocols is detailed in the minutes of the meetings of the Committee on Safety of Human Experiments and the Defence Scientific Advisory Council Medical Committee between June 1979 and February 1982. I am withholding copies of the minutes under Exemption 2b of the Code of Practice to Access to Government Information, relating to internal advice and discussion.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the documents held by his Department relating to a meeting on 16 January of representatives from his Department and the Medical Research Council Physiological Medicine and Infections Board regarding the epidemiological study into the health of service personnel who took part in experiments at the chemical defence establishment, Porton Down. [63071]

Dr. Moonie: The meeting held on 16 January 2002 was not a meeting between members of the Ministry of Defence staff and the Physiological Medicine and Infections Board (PMIB). The PMIB is a Medical Research Council (MRC) body which met on 16 January 2002 to assess the scientific merits of proposals from four research teams for an epidemiological study of the Porton Down Volunteers, as well as to discuss many other scientific issues unrelated to Porton Down. One member of MOD staff attended the Porton Down discussion in an observational capacity only.

Requests for information relating to the MRC's consideration of the proposals should be addressed to the MRC. MOD has produced no documents relating to this meeting.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when between 1 January 1994 and 1 January 1997 the Independent Ethics Committee overseeing human experiments at the chemical defence establishment discussed the question of the possible long-term effects of (a) nerve gas, (b) mustard gas and (c) pepper gas on humans. [63070]

Dr. Moonie: The Independent Ethics Committee overseeing the conduct of the Service Volunteer Programme at Dstl Porton Down did not discuss the possible long term effects of exposure to nerve gas, mustard gas or pepper gas during its meetings between 1 January 1994 and 1 January 1997.

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