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Mr. Kevan Jones: Our records indicate that there are 10 other commercial properties currently being rented in the West of Scotland at the following locations and cost per annum. I also include the current number of defence personnel working at each site where this is known:
|Location||Number of personnel based in location||Rent (£)|
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was of employing press and media officers in the last 12 month period for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was of employing such staff in the financial year 1996-97, expressed in current prices. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for Veterans (Mr. Jones), on 15 July 2009, Official Report, column 378W, to the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Paul Holmes).
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies spent on promotional items carrying the Department's branding and logo in the last five years; and what such items were. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Expenditure on promotional items must be necessary, appropriate, cost effective and an admissible charge to public funds.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many valid civilian passes granting access to his Department's London buildings have been issued to employees of private defence companies in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Records show that in the last 12 months, there were 137 passes issued to employees of companies identified by us as "private defence companies". We have defined "private defence companies" as those we can readily identify as being primarily suppliers of weapon systems or defence materiel to the Department.
These passes only allow access to MOD Head Office (Main Building, Old War Office and St. George's Court) and are issued to individuals who hold appropriate security clearances, have a genuine business need to regularly visit one of these London Offices and have been sponsored by a Head Office Business Unit. Figures are not held centrally for passes issued in respect of other MOD London buildings.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to employees of which private defence companies have civilian passes granting access to his Department's London buildings been issued since 1 January 2008. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Since 1 January 2008, building passes have been issued to employees of the private defence companies as listed. We have defined private defence companies as those we can readily identify as being primarily suppliers of weapon systems or defence materiel to the Department.
Boeing Defence UK
Cubic Defence Systems
EADS Defence and Security System
General Dynamics UK
MBDA Missile Systems
Roke Manor Research
These passes only allow access to Ministry of Defence Head Office (Main Building, Old War Office and St. George's Court) and are issued to individuals who hold appropriate security clearances, have a genuine business need to regularly visit one of these London Offices and have been sponsored by a Head Office Business Unit. Details are not held centrally for passes issued in respect of other MOD London buildings.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his statement of 22 March 2010, Official Report, columns 3-4WS, on armed forces equipment, whether the base platform for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) is now finalised for all aspects of the FRES programme; whether there will be further opportunities for unsuccessful bidders to bid for later variants; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Future Rapid Effect System programme has been recast from a single programme into a coherent set of constituent projects namely: the Specialist Vehicles; the Utility Vehicles; and the Manoeuvre Support Vehicles. The Secretary of State's announcement on 22 March 2010 related to the Specialist Vehicle project, for which the MOD intends to use a Common Base Platform as a base vehicle onto which specific sub-systems, such as the 40 mm Cannon, can be integrated to meet the various Specialist Vehicle roles.
The Utility Vehicle and Manoeuvre Support projects are still in their Assessment Phases and the potential options to deliver these capabilities continue to be developed. No decisions have therefore been made regarding the platforms to be used for the Utility Vehicles or Manoeuvre Support Vehicles, or the companies that will provide them.
Mr. Kevan Jones: The Cross-Departmental Working Group was set up following the announcement on 21 May 2009 of the new immigration rules for retired Gurkhas. It has met formally on three occasions, twice in 2009 and once so far this year. The working group is jointly chaired by the Command Secretary, Headquarters Land Forces and the Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency. The Ministry of Defence leads across Government on Gurkha settlement issues, although most work is conducted multilaterally between Government Departments, local authorities, pressure groups and other agencies.
The working group has consulted with a wide range of welfare organisations in the course of its work, including the main service charities: the Gurkha Welfare Trust; the Royal British Legion; ABF The Soldiers' Charity; the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association; and Veterans Aid. Informal consultations and briefings have also been held with the ex-Gurkha servicemen's organisation in the UK and in Nepal, including: the British Gurkha Welfare Society; the Regimental Associations Nepal; the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Organisation; the United British Gurkhas Ex-Servicemen's Association Nepal; the Gurkha United Forum; and the Nepal Ex-Servicemen's Association.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what due diligence tests were conducted prior to the award of the contract for Port Agency Service (FLEET/OPS/0020), with particular reference to (a) credit checks, (b) risk assessment, (c) ownership, including related shareholdings and (d) transparency of company structures and accounts; and what methodology was used to conduct those tests; 
(2) by what (a) method, (b) criteria and (c) through which Agency the Department assessed the security and associated risk profile of those companies who submitted bids for the contract for Provision of Port Agency Services (FLEET/OPS/0020); and if he will make a statement; 
(3) whether, when awarding the contract for Provision of Port Agency Services (FLEET/OPS/0020), a requirement was stipulated that the contractor would need to demonstrate that their work would not be exposed to
advanced notice of ship and submarine movements globally; and if he will make a statement. 
(4) by what method and against what criteria his Department evaluated the tender submissions and related documents in respect of the Provision of Port Agency Services (FLEET/OPS/0020); if he will place in the Library a copy of the documentation setting out the criteria; and if he will make a statement. 
a pre-qualification assessment, utilising a standardised Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) to select from the companies who had expressed an interest, those that would be invited to tender; and
assessment of tenders received against the award criteria set out in the Special Notices and Instructions issued with Invitation to Tender dated 28 January 2008.
The PQQ sought details on such matters as technical capability, financial standing, ownership and company structures. Technical, financial and security matters were considered before a company was invited to tender for the requirement. This assessment was informed by reference to company specific reports procured from a reputable private sector business information supplier. Companies invited to tender for the contract were taken from a list of "Approved Defence Contractors" and, where necessary, were afforded provisional List-X Status by the Defence Procurement Agency for the purposes of complying with the Security Aspects of the tender bidding process.
The tender assessment was conducted by appropriate Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and civilian subject matter experts. The results of these assessments were collated and considered by a Tender Assessment Panel chaired by a senior commercial officer which recommended the award decision based on the evidence of the assessment.
After the tendering process was complete, an agreement on the detailed handling of sensitive material was reached with the successful bidder, implementing the more general security requirements set out in the contract documents. This agreement recognised that some sensitive information would need to be disclosed to suppliers of services in sufficient time to enable those services to be provided in a timely manner.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers who served with the Royal Irish Regiment transferred to Territorial Army units following disbandment of the Home Service battalions. 
According to unit records, to date approximately 340 personnel who served with the Royal Irish Regiment Home Service Battalions have transferred or enlisted into Territorial Army units based in Northern Ireland following the Home Service Battalions' disbandment. This estimate does not include two squadrons of the newly formed 32 Signal Regiment (V), as the
records of these squadrons are currently in the process of being transferred to their new units and are currently unavailable for scrutiny.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timetable is for the delivery of (a) each Astute class and (b) Trident successor submarine; what effect the delay in delivery of the former will have on delivery of the latter; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I made on 25 March 2010, Official Report, columns 54-55WS. Of the seven planned Astute class submarines, the first four boats have been ordered. Boat one (Astute) is currently undergoing an extensive programme of sea trials while boats two to four (Ambush, Artful, and Audacious) are in various stages of construction. We have decided to proceed with the initial build work on boat five and to order the long lead items for boat six. The delivery timetable for the class is currently being re-baselined.
We are continuing to target an in-service date for the first Trident successor submarine of 2024, as set out in the White Paper 'The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent' (Cm6994). The precise delivery schedule will be determined at Main Gate, currently scheduled for 2014.
The Ministry of Defence and industry are evaluating the lessons from the first boats in the Astute programme and will ensure that there is appropriate sequencing between the Astute and successor programmes to ensure that continuous at sea deterrence can be maintained. We do not expect delays in the Astute programme to affect the timetable for the delivery of the Trident successor submarines.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer by the Cabinet Office Minister of 22 February 2010, Official Report, column 156W, on the Central Office of Information: marketing, what the (a) type and (b) cost was of the promotional food and confectionery purchased from Sweet Concepts Ltd. by the Royal Air Force. 
|Product||Cost (excluding VAT)|
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