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Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what messing, accommodation and recreational facilities will be available for service personnel to be based at Queen Alexandra hospital, Cosham if the proposed expansion through a private finance initiative takes place. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 15 July 2002]: The Queen Alexandra hospital private finance initiative will include all Ministry of Defence clinical and administrative requirements but not single living accommodation, messing or recreational facilities. A study to determine options for the provision of these services is being carried out.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what dockyard work will need to be carried out to accommodate the two new aircraft carriers; when that work is expected to commence; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The extent and timing of any modifications at Portsmouth will depend on developments in the carrier programme and the dimensions of the final design that is taken forward. In the light of these, consideration will be given to mitigating any access constraints together with some enhancements to shore
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Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long his Department allowed for consultation on each consultation document it published in 2001 in (a) electronic and (b) printed form. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence published seven consultations in 2001. The amount of time given for responses did not differ according to the format of the consultation. Times allowed for response, either in writing or electronically, were:
The Military Maritime Graves and the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986: three months;
Proposed Introduction of the Voluntary Screening Programme Following Health Concerns in Respect of Depleted Uranium: four weeks;
Armed Forces Pension Scheme Review: five months;
Joint Compensation Review: five months;
2nd Consultative Document on the Introduction of a Voluntary Screening Programme for Depleted Uranium: 12 weeks;
MOD Police Quinquennial Review: six months.
Dr. Moonie: All of the consultation documents published by the Department in 2001 were published electronically, and the Ministry of Defence Consultation webpage includes links to the Cabinet Office code of practice on written consultations, which contains the consultation criteria.
Dr. Moonie: Of the seven consultations published in 2001, two have not yet reported. Of the remainder, results for one were published on the Consultation webpage of the Ministry of Defence website and in printed format, and two were published on the Consultation webpage of the MOD website but would have been made available in printed format if requested. The results of the last two will be published shortly.
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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which elements of (a) watchkeeper and (b) the Future Offensive Air Strategy the Government intend to procure through the European technology acquisition programme. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 17 July 2002]: The European technology acquisition programme (ETAP) is a collaborative technology development programme related to combat air systems. Its aim is to sustain and develop generic European capabilities over the next two decades. Although United Kingdom decisions on which technologies to pursue under ETAP will take account of our Future Offensive Air System project, it is not aimed at a specific equipment, nor is it intended as a means of procuring equipment.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 4 December 2001, Official Report, column 221W, on ETAP, when he expects the ETAP joint study assessing the military capabilities the six nations' armed forces will need around 2020 to report. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 17 July 2002]: The study report was produced on time and presented to the European technology acquisition programme (ETAP) steering committee on 3 July 2002. The report will provide a focus for future ETAP research and technology programmes.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the criteria to be used in deciding which British procurement decisions to pursue through the European technology acquisition programme. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 17 July 2002]: The European technology acquisition programme (ETAP) is about collaborative technology development related to combat air systems rather than procurement of specific equipments. United Kingdom decisions on technology development within ETAP will reflect the key capabilities required of the UK's future offensive air system. If one or more of our ETAP partners identify the same technology area as a priority, we will jointly decide whether a collaborative ETAP technology demonstration programme with European industry represents best value for money.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms are in place to ensure that in its procurement of systems technology the UK does not become beholden to one company with the intellectual property. 
Dr. Moonie: When the Ministry of Defence funds development of equipment, it does so using intellectual property conditions which will allow for competition for further supplies of that equipment or its spare parts. Apart from an undertaking that the original developer will be invited to tender for such further supplies or its spare parts, there is no obligation on MOD to limit further contracts to the original developer.
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Most systems coming into defence service now, however, comprise an amalgam of commercially developed items and items for which the MOD has funded both the development costs and integration into the final system. Where commercial items are to be incorporated into a defence system, it is MOD's practice to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to ensure continued availability of vital items on a fair and reasonable basis.
In addition to the arrangements made through individual contracts, statutory arrangements exist under the Patent Act 1977 to enable Government use of patents for defence purposes in some circumstances on payment of compensation.
Dr. Moonie: No military training was conducted on the Quantocks between February and July 2001 owing to the outbreak of food and mouth disease. Our records show the following training took place later in the year: a fieldcraft and map reading exercise undertaken by the King's College Combined Cadets Force; a Duke of Edinburgh's Award by Somerset Army Cadet Force; and a Royal Marines load-carrying exercise along roads and bridle paths.
Dr. Moonie: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 736W, to the hon. Member for North Essex (Mr. Jenkin). I will write to the hon. Member once HMS Albion's in service date has been confirmed.
(3) what plans he has to improve the standard of service families' accommodation in Colchester. 
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Around 95 per cent. of the properties are at Standard 1 or Standard 2 for condition. Having completed two phases of a long term programme of upgrade to service housing in Colchester, further phases are planned provisionally for financial years 200304 and 200405, which will raise over 600 more properties to Standard 1 for condition.
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