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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people are held in detention in Afghanistan without charge or prospects of trial (a) by NATO forces, (b) by the Government of Iraq, and (c) by United States forces; and whether they will take steps towards creating review procedures. [HL2013]
Lord Brett: UK Armed Forces are operating in a dangerous environment in Afghanistan. It is essential that they have the authority and capability to deal with individuals who pose a serious threat to UK and other International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops, the Afghan security forces as well as the local population.
ISAF, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-led security and development mission in Afghanistan, is not responsible for charging or prosecuting detainees. ISAF forces are mandated to either transfer detainees to the Afghan Government for prosecution through their judicial system or release them. As a sovereign nation, responsibility for prosecution lies with the Government of Afghanistan. The question of how many prisoners detained without charge or prospects of trial by the Governments of Afghanistan and the US is a matter for those Governments to answer.
The London conference held on 28 January welcomed the Government of Afghanistan's determination to take on increasing responsibility for detentions. The UK will continue to work with the Afghan authorities to build capacity within their detention and judicial systems. The Government of Afghanistan will decide what review procedures should be put in place.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in installing the third turbine at the Kajakai Dam; what was the total financial and manpower cost of Operation Oqab Tsuka; and whether the position has been affected by financial constraints or the level of planning. [HL1053]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): USAID, the US Federal Government agency responsible for the US effort in the field of development and reconstruction, is committed to installing a third unit at Kajaki which would increase the generation capacity to 51 megawatts, and to constructing a new transmission line from Kajaki to Kandahar when the security situation becomes permissive. The Ministry of Defence does not calculate the financial cost of individual operations. Four thousand International Security Assistance Force troops were
1 Mar 2010 : Column WA318
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking following the Osprey Assault body armour not passing safety testing, to ensure that members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces are provided with protective body armour. [HL2041]
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): We are continually seeking ways to improve the protection provided to our Armed Forces personnel, and body armour is part of a constant scientific development process.
A contract was let to manufacture Osprey Assault body armour plates. These were to offer the same ballistic protection as the Osprey plate but of a slightly thinner design. This contract is being reviewed because after testing we found the plates did not meet our stringent standards. No Osprey Assault plates were ever issued to troops.
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Citations that demonstrate the highest levels of excellence will be recognised through the award of medals for gallantry. Therefore, there may be other acts of individual gallantry which are not recognised in this way for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, all who deploy, and meet the criteria, receive a campaign medal which recognises the risks they face in the arduous circumstances in which they are deployed.
Recommendations that are not approved are not retained or recorded. All such records are destroyed, thus enabling impartial consideration of any future citations. No information on the number of recommendations can therefore be provided.
Recommendations for gallantry awards are made through the chain of command. Recommendations are screened at various levels and a committee comprising senior military officers (all with operational experience) makes the final decisions. It has always been this, and previously, Government's view that Ministers should not be involved in the process of awarding gallantry medals.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the discussions about policing of transport interchanges during the passage of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 will be taken into account in the quinquennial review of the activities of the British Transport Police. [HL2328]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): A review of the British Transport Police Authority is due to take place this year. In accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines, its remit will be set by the Department for Transport and I expect one of the areas for consideration to be the possibility of extending the jurisdiction of the British Transport Police.
Those carrying out the review will want to take account of the views expressed on the subject during the passage of the Policing and Crime Bill and the undertakings given by the Government at the time. The arguments for extending the British Transport Police's remit are well known and I would expect those with a direct interest to be given the opportunity to comment further before any significant changes were made.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was paid by HM Revenue and Customs and its agencies to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) KPMG, (c) Deloitte, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) Grant Thornton, (f) BDO Stoy Hayward, (g) Baker Tilly, (h) Smith & Williamson, (i) Tenon Group, (j) PKF, (k) McKinsey and Company, and (l) Accenture, in each of the past five years for which information is available; how they monitor contracts with those firms; and how the department reports (1) during, and (2) at the end of contracts, to Buying Solutions. [HL2082]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) spend information prior to 2006 is held on legacy HM Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue systems and is not available at the level of detail requested for the period 2005-06. Information is available at the level of detail requested for the periods 2006-07 onwards and is provided in the table below:
|Service Provider||HMRC-Spend per financial year (£)|
|2006/07||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10 to date|
The increase in expenditure in 2008-09 and 2009-10 is to support delivery in departmental transformation programmes: government banking, modernising PAYE processes for customers (MPPC), pacesetter/lean, data security and compliance and enforcement.
|Service provider||VOA-Spend per financial year (£)|
|2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10 to date|
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