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25 Jun 2008 : Column 307W—continued

Army: Manpower

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) target inflow, (b) inflow and (c) outflow for each unit in the (i) infantry, (ii) Royal Corps of Signals, (iii) Royal Logistics Corps, (iv) Royal Engineers and (v) Royal Artillery was in each month since January 2008. [211958]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information is not held in the format requested.

Due to ongoing validation of data following the implementation of the new joint personnel administration system, flows information is only available at the Army level and is not yet available broken down to Arm/Service level. Unit level flows for the Army are not routinely published and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Assets

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence over what period his Department depreciates the asset value of its (a) vehicles, (b) computer hardware, (c) bespoke computer software, (d) standard computer software, (e) furniture and (f) telecommunications equipment. [213227]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department depreciates its vehicles, computer hardware and telecommunications equipment as shown in the following table.


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Category Years

Transport

Specialised vehicles

15-30

Other standard vehicles

3-5

IT and Comms equipment

Computer hardware

3-10

Telecommunications equipment

3-30


It is not possible to provide information at a departmental level with regard to a ‘standard’ period over which computer software is depreciated; however, in determining the appropriate period for this and all other asset categories the Department is consistent with the accounting treatment laid out in the financial reporting manual (FReM).

Also in accordance with the FReM the Department does not capitalise furniture, therefore costs are immediately expensed to the operating cost statement.

Departmental Public Participation

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) surveys, (b) questionnaires and (c) other services were provided by polling companies for his Department in financial year 2007-08, broken down by company. [200020]

Derek Twigg: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, records are available of services provided by polling companies which relate primarily to recruitment activities by the armed forces, and polling carried out by our central media and communications division to establish the attitudes of the public to various aspects of defence activity. In financial year 2007-08, the following were completed.

Purpose Firm employed

Top level reputation tracking of the MOD and armed forces

Ipsos MORI

Army reputation tracking

Populus

Territorial Army recruitment and retention

Cragg Ross Dawson(1)

Website visitor survey assessing views on the Royal Marine website

Virtual Surveys(1)

Online surveys and interviews to inform recruiting to the Army Medical Services

ICM(1)

(1) Procured through Central Office of Information.

Destroyers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether destroyers withdrawn from the fleet in the next five years are scheduled to be replaced on a one-for-one basis. [210473]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 16 June 2008]: As I said in my reply to the hon. Member on 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1099W, we do not intend to increase the current order of six Type 45 destroyers. Therefore, only the first six Type 42 destroyers due to be withdrawn will be replaced by Type 45s.


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Lynx Helicopters

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Future Lynx helicopters will be deployed to (a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force; and from which ships the Navy helicopters will be flown. [211500]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with AgustaWestland for the delivery of 70 Future Lynx helicopters comprising 40 battlefield variant to enter service with the Army, and 30 maritime variant to enter service with the Royal Navy. None are due to be delivered to the Royal Air Force. It is intended that the Future Lynx maritime variant will operate principally from our Type 22 and Type 23 frigates and our Type 45 destroyers, although they will be capable of operating from other vessels as required.

Merlin Helicopters

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the Merlin helicopters acquired from Denmark carry the TCAS collision avoidance system and weather radar; and what maintenance schedule has been established for these systems; [212083]

(2) what assessment he has made of the load capacity of the flooring in the Merlin helicopters acquired from Denmark; and if he will make a statement. [212084]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: All six of the helicopters acquired from Denmark, now designated as Merlin MK3a, were delivered fitted with a Terrain collision Avoidance system (TCAS) and whether radar system. These systems are not fitted to our other Merlin MK3 aircraft and therefore no long-term support is planned. We do, however, intend to evaluate the performance of the systems to inform future requirements which, if funded, would include appropriate long-term support arrangements.

The floor of the MK3a has a slightly different construction to our existing MK3 aircraft, but the uniformly distributed load capacity is the same. The Mk3 is capable of carrying 24 troops with their equipment and the full range of equipment required to be carried by this aircraft on operations.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's target is for the proportion of Merlin Mark 1 helicopters to be operational; and what proportion are operational. [212331]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The target forward fleet of Merlin Mk 1 helicopters available to the front line command for training and operations is 30, which represents 71 per cent. of the departmental fleet of 42. The number in the forward fleet as at 17 June 2008 is 23, which represents 55 per cent. of the departmental fleet.

Justice

Administration of Justice: Environment

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many applications for public funding were (a) submitted and (b) granted by the Legal Services Commission for environmental cases in each year since 2000. [212993]


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Maria Eagle: The Legal Services Commission does not record information in such a way as to enable it to identify the number of applications for public funding of cases relating to environmental cases as this is not a distinct category of law under which legal aid is recorded. However, environmental matters may be funded under the legal aid scheme if there is sufficient public interest to do so.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many protective costs orders were granted by the Supreme Court of England and Wales for environmental cases in each year since 2000. [212994]

Bridget Prentice: The information requested is not held centrally and could be compiled only through a manual inspection of historic case records which would be disproportionately costly.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the civil procedure rules committee will consult the public on possible amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules in relation to costs and interim remedies to ensure compliance with the provisions of Article 9(4) of the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters; and if he will make a statement. [213013]

Bridget Prentice: The Civil Procedure Rule Committee consults such persons as (it) considers appropriate under the Civil Procedure Act 3(1)(a). However the Committee’s current programme of work does not include consideration of amendments arising from the UNECE convention on access to information.

Departmental Assets

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice over what period his Department depreciates the asset value of its (a) vehicles, (b) computer hardware, (c) bespoke computer software, (d) standard computer software, (e) furniture and (f) telecommunications equipment. [213224]

Mr. Wills: Departments should depreciate their assets over periods consistent with the accounting standards laid out in the Financial Reporting Manual (FReM). Depreciation rates for assets vary depending upon the user's anticipated life of the asset.

Following the creation of the MoJ, which brought together entities from two separate Departments, the Department will be reviewing its depreciation rates.

The core Department, HM Courts Service, the Tribunals Service, and the Office of the Public Guardian depreciate assets over the following periods:


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HMPS

The Prison Service Agency depreciates assets over the following periods:

The majority of furniture acquired by HMPS is for staff and inmates and is not capitalised.

NOMS

NOMS depreciates assets over the following periods:

OGJR

OCJR depreciates assets over the following periods:

Departmental Expert Groups

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what expert groups his Department set up in each year since it was established. [213200]

Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice was established on 9 May 2007. Since that date, the Ministry has established the following expert groups:


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