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12 May 2003 : Column 30Wcontinued
Dr. Howells: Cabinet Office publishes an annual report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service". The statistics show reasons for absence including mental disorders. The most recently published
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figures for the calendar year 2001 were announced by Ministerial Statement on 19 December 2002, and copies placed in the Libraries of the House. The sickness absence figures for 2002 will be announced in due course.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how much the Millennium Commission has spent on consultancy fees, broken down by areas of expertise that consultants provided; 
(3) if she will list the variations in the Millennium Landmark projects from their original agreements with the Millennium Commission; 
(4) if she will list the Millennium Landmark projects indicating the estimate of the (a) costs of completion and (b) initial forecasted costs; 
(5) if she will make a statement on the cost of the administration of the Millennium Commission since its establishment; and which budgets have provided the money; 
(6) if she will list the Millennium Landmark projects indicating the expected completion dates and the initial forecasted completion dates; 
(7) if she will list the Millennium Landmark projects which have received public money other than from the Millennium Commission, broken down by (a) amount and (b) funding organisation. 
Mr. Caborn: One of this Department's key objectives is to increase participation in all sports, including running, and through Sport England and UK Sport, the national governing bodies of sport are funded directly to help achieve this objective. UK Athletics in conjunction with its home country partners has developed a number of grass roots initiatives that support and encourage individuals to become involved in athletics. The schemes take place within schools, communities, and athletics club environments. Such schemes include the Norwich Union 'star:track', 'sports:hall', and 'shine:awards', which are designed for young people aged three upwards. UK Athletics also supports athletics clubs through its 'clubs:future' programme.
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Mr. Ingram: The deployment of 45,000 personnel and their equipment over such a long distance and in such a short time represents a remarkable achievement and one of which all those in the logistic chain can be proud.
As with all exercises and operations, we are in the process of identifying lessons from operations in Iraq. This work will be published in due course, subject to the usual constraints on force protection and security. It would therefore be inappropriate for me to draw any conclusions at this stage in the process.
20. Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of logistic support to sustain British forces in the Gulf region. 
Mr. Ingram: The logistic support to our forces in the Gulf has been a remarkable achievement. An assessment of the effectiveness of support to Operation TELIC will be made as part of the normal process of identifying lessons from our deployments. We do, of course, keep the sustainment of on-going operations under constant review and I am confident that this will ensure that forces still in the Gulf will continue to receive an appropriate level of support.
22. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to investigate complaints about the quality of clothing and other equipment supplied to members of HM armed forces serving in the Gulf. 
Mr. Ingram: As recent operations in Iraq have demonstrated our armed forces are among the best equipped in the world. I can tell the House the reports from theatre indicate that equipment performance overall has been generally impressive. However, we do take any reported defects very seriously. An assessment of the performance of equipment deployed on
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operations in the Gulf, including clothing and personal equipment, will be undertaken as part of the usual process of identifying lessons from our deployments.
Mr. Ingram: We are gathering evidence and assessing the lessons emerging from the Iraq conflict so that realistic decisions can be made on whether the equipment and logistical stocks lost or used will, or will not, be replaced.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract journalists embedded with British forces involved in the invasion of Iraq were required to sign in advance of their placements. 
Dr. Moonie: Journalists embedded with British forces serving in Iraq were not required to sign a contract as such. They were, however, required to sign a copy of Annexes B to E of the Green Book"Working Arrangements with the Media during times of Emergency, Tension, Conflict or War". A copy of this book, with the relevant Annexes, is accessible on the MOD website, at www.mod.uk/news/green book/foreword.htm
Dr. Moonie: All personnel returning from Operation TELIC, whether Regulars or Reservists, will be provided with appropriate support measures acknowledging that each individual's experience of the conflict will be different. The procedures will vary slightly between each Service according to need, but are essentially similar and delivered in three stages: recovery, normalisation and after care. Each stage has support services ranging from medical screening and de-briefings to post-operational tour leave. For example, building on lessons from earlier conflicts, personnel from 3 Commando Brigade will have a period of two weeks in their barracks, with night leave, to allow additional time to 'decompress' and normalise while fulfilling equipment maintenance tasks. At all stages of
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the process, personnel have access to Sendee welfare specialists when required including medical officers, chaplains and also representatives from external bodies such as SSAFA-Forces Help.
Procedures are in place to ensure that personnel do not miss end-of-deployment medical briefings given in theatre enabling data to be extracted for clinical audit and post-deployment health surveillance purposes. Measures are also in place to raise awareness of PTSD and other stress-related disorders which may occur among Service personnel.
Commanders have been made aware of such vital issues as combat stress indicators, the difficulties surrounding the return of personnel and re-union with their loved ones, and the effect that the deployment may have had on their children. Two Leaflets"Coming Home" and "Dealing with Traumatic Experiences"are handed to all personnel leaving the operational area. In addition, leaflets are sent to families to alert them to the possible after-effects of the operational deployment including special booklets and advice for children.
Each person will have the opportunity to be properly de-briefed by personnel within the command chain. This commitment to after care is enduring, recognising that the needs of individuals change in the longer term.
I also refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement on 7 May 2003, Official Report, column 34WS on the decision to conduct research into the physical and psychological health of those involved in the conflict.
Dr. Moonie: Subject to the continuing improvement in the overall security environment, Commonwealth War Graves Commission staff are scheduled to arrive in Iraq on 23 June 2003, when they will begin their work to restore the cemeteries and memorials to the 54,000 Commonwealth Servicemen who are buried in the 13 cemeteries throughout Iraq.
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