Written Answers to Questions
Tuesday 10 January 2012
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the effect of changes in exchange rates on the cost of purchasing A400M aircraft. 
Peter Luff: The multinational A400M design and production phase acquisition contract is priced in euros, so exchange rate variations will have a bearing on the cost, and the effect of any such change is dealt with as part of the planning round process. I am, however, withholding the precise figures as their disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests of Airbus Military, and A400M Partner Nations, because it would disclose financial information about how much each country is paying for their individual aircraft and would therefore give information valuable to Airbus Military’s competitors.
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Peacekeeping Operations: Commonwealth Personnel
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Commonwealth service personnel of each country of origin in UK forces have been (a) killed and (b) seriously injured in (i) Afghanistan since 2001 and (ii) since Iraq since 2003; and what the (A) regiment and rank and (B) date of death or injury was in each case. 
Nick Harvey: UK forces personnel are individually asked, but not required, to declare their nationality on the Joint Personnel Administration system. These data are the main basis of the information contained in the following tables. It is therefore not a complete record, although it is likely to give a broadly accurate indication of the proportion of fatalities and casualties who were Commonwealth citizens, and has been cross-referenced against other centrally held information from the Office for National Statistics. More detailed data on individuals' nationality are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Of those service personnel who died in Afghanistan since 2001, 15 had declared nationality of a non-British Commonwealth country. Of those who died in Iraq since 2003, four had declared nationality of a non-British Commonwealth country. Also shown are all individuals who declared a nationality from a non-Commonwealth country and those where no nationality could be confirmed.
|Table 1: Fatalities in Afghanistan|
|Date of death||Rank||Nationality||Regiment/Corps|
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|Table 2: Fatalities in Iraq|
|Date of death||Rank||Nationality||Regiment/Corps|
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categories shown as follows without doing so, and I am therefore withholding this information.
|Table 3: Afghanistan: UK armed forces seriously injured casualties by year and nationality, 7 October 2001 to 30 November 2011|
|Country of nationality||All||2001-06||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011|
|Table 4: Iraq: UK armed forces seriously injured casualties by year and nationality, 1 January 2003 to 21 May 2011|
|Country of nationality||All||2001-06||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011|
Air Force: Ammunition
Air Force: Radiation Exposure
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment his Department has made of the primary source of radium contamination at (a) RAF Kinloss, (b) RAF Machrihanish, (c) RNAS Donibristle, (d) DARA Almondbank and (e) Stirling Forthside; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will place in the Library the most recent copy of the Land Quality Assessment reports for (a) RAF Kinloss, (b) RAF Machrihanish, (c) RNAS Donibristle, (d) DARA Almondbank and (e) Stirling Forthside; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of cleaning up radioactive contamination at each contaminated site in Scotland for which his Department is responsible in each of the next five years; 
|Site||Source of contamination||Action|
The cost to the public purse of remediating contaminated sites is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However as at December 2011 the MOD has spent in excess of £500,000 on remediation.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the current catapult and trap design for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and the compatibility of the F-35C aircraft with its main 7.1 foot landing gear to arrestor hook distance. 
Peter Luff: Our investigations into the conversion of the operational Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier are still ongoing, but it remains our intent that the catapult and arrestor gear equipment to be installed will be fully compatible with the more capable F-35C strike fighters.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what comparison he has made of the size of the traps planned for the (a) Queen Elizabeth class and (b) Gerald Ford class aircraft carriers. 
Peter Luff: Our investigations into the conversion of the operational Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier are still ongoing, but at this stage, the arrangement and size of the arrestor gear system is the same as that used in the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier. However, the exact arrangement of components and sub-systems will differ due to the differences in ship size and compartment layout.
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Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has received an interim report on the carrier variant conversion investigation; and if not, when he expects to receive such a report. 
Peter Luff: Investigations into the conversion of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier to operate the Carrier Variant of the Joint Strike Fighter are due to conclude in December 2012. The project team is continuing to mature and develop information, in conjunction with UK industry, which will be used to inform decisions on the final conversion solution. Ministers are routinely updated on the progress of this investigation.
Peter Luff: Statutory Instrument 1348—The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulation—details the security requirements for the transport of ammunition by road. Ministry of Defence (MOD) policy for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail is contained in Joint Service Publication (JSP) 800 Volume 4B—Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Sea. JSP 800 incorporates the requirements of SI 1348 and includes additional security measures for the transport of those goods that have been assessed by MOD security to be attractive to criminal and terrorist organisations.
Each transport operation, including those conducted by approved contractors, is assessed and conducted in accordance with these requirements. MOD policy is reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains in line with legislation and all units and establishments involved in the transport of dangerous goods are audited to ensure compliance.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he is considering the introduction of any new security measures for the transportation by road of projectile ammunition; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: Responsibility for policy on the transport of dangerous goods by road rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, not my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. The safety and security requirements are laid down in Statutory Instrument 1348—The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations.
The Ministry of Defence fully complies with the security requirements for the transportation of ammunition by road and rail and in addition, conducts a full risk assessment for each transport operation in accordance with the extant security alert state.
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Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) regards the issue of driving while under the influence of alcohol very seriously. MOD policy prohibits the consumption of alcohol while on duty, including those periods when "on call".
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) conducts regular reviews of policy to ensure full compliance with national and international legislation. The reviews are timed to coincide with the release of the legislative amendments to the transport of dangerous goods regulations.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether civilian personnel have been used in place of (a) Ministry of Defence Police and (b) military personnel to escort ammunition convoys from any UK military base in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; 
Peter Luff: The training requirements for personnel involved in the transport of ammunition by road are contained in Statutory Instrument (SI) 1348—The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations and ADR (Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road). This Statutory Instrument also requires that all carriers and consignors engaged in the carriage of “High Consequence” dangerous goods (including ammunition) adopt, implement and comply with a security plan.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) policy for the security of ammunition during transport is contained in Joint Service Publication (JSP) 440—Defence Manual of Security and JSP 800 Volume 4B—Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Sea, which incorporates the requirements of SI 1348 and ADR. JSP 800 sets out the awareness and functional training that personnel, including escorts, who are involved in the transport of Dangerous Goods need to undertake. The training provided includes function specific, safety and security competences.
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policy decision to retain the requirement for Attendants (escorts) to ensure the security of those goods assessed as being attractive to criminal and terrorist organisations during transport operations.
Where the transport operation is conducted utilising commercial contractors, the contractor is selected from a MOD maintained list of approved hauliers. These hauliers are subject to Section 5 of the Firearms Act and have been cleared for the transport of ammunition.
The MOD has no plans to mandate the use of MOD Police or military personnel to escort vehicles transporting ammunition, however, where there is any change to the extant security alert state the requirement for commercial carriers to be escorted by military personnel is assessed.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what occasions lorries loaded with ammunition have been involved in (a) collisions and (b) major mechanical breakdowns in the last 10 years. 
Peter Luff: During the past 10 years, there have been 34 recorded incidents of collisions involving vehicles carrying ammunition. The vast majority of these were low impact or low speed workplace collisions. In all cases the ammunition had been prepared, packed, loaded and secured in accordance with the applicable transport regulations and the incidents had no effect on the ammunition being transported. It is not possible to provide accurate details of the number of major mechanical breakdowns involving vehicles carrying ammunition. This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Under Ministry of Defence policy and process/measures are in place to ensure that, in the event of a breakdown, the vehicle is recovered to a place of safety for supervised and controlled cross loading, where necessary.
Armed Forces: Animals
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many dogs have been employed by his Department in the last year; what their duties were; and what the cost of such employment was; 
992 working dogs, of which 324 were search dogs, 409 were guard dogs and 259 were “multipurpose” (ie search and guard).
499 horses, all of which were in a ceremonial role.
13 falcons, utilised by the Royal Navy for runway clearance.
Two drum horses
Three mountain goats
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One swaledale ram
Two Shetland ponies
Armed Forces: Education
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions his Department has had with Fife Council on any requirement for additional school places in the Leuchars area when the Army takes up its base there. 
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Army personnel and (b) Army personnel who had enlisted under the age of 18 undertook GCSE English or mathematics qualifications during (i) their Phase Two training or (ii) subsequently; and how many achieved these qualifications at Grades A* to C in the latest period for which figures are available. 
However, the Army encourages and supports a programme of personal continuous improvement throughout Army careers and aims for personnel to achieve at least Level 1 (GCSE Grade D to G) within three years of enlistment.
Armed Forces: Food
Armed Forces: Military Decorations
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the case for allowing more medals to be worn by armed forces personnel which have been awarded by Commonwealth countries; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government recognise that the rules on the award of medals have not always been applied consistently. The Committee of the Grant of Honours, Decoration and Medals recently recommended to Her Majesty the Queen that holders of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal should be allowed to wear it. In order to address concerns expressed in both Houses of Parliament and by members of the public the Government have agreed to a fresh review of the rules governing the
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award of military medals. This will be conducted by an independent reviewer involving full consultation with interested parties.
Mr Robathan: I am aware of the campaign for a National Defence Medal. It remains our policy that medals should not be awarded just for service. Nevertheless, the Government have recently agreed to a fresh review of the rules governing the award of military medals. This will be conducted by an independent reviewer involving full consultation with interested parties. The terms of reference and further details will be released in the near future.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the case for the Honours and Decorations Committee to accept representations in person from veterans; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr Robathan: The Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals (known generally as the HD Committee) is a sub-committee of the Cabinet and as such the Ministry of Defence has made no assessment of the proposal to accept representations in person from veterans, or other aspects of its operation.
The HD Committee is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and has representatives from several Government Departments. It is a permanent standing advisory committee to which the Sovereign looks for independent and informed advice on policy concerning honours, decorations and medals. It was established in 1939, has no direct ministerial involvement and reports directly to Her Majesty the Queen.
However, we recognise that the rules applicable to the award of medals have not always been applied consistently. As a result the Government have recently agreed to a fresh review of the rules governing the award of military medals. This will be conducted by an independent reviewer involving full consultation with interested parties.
Armed Forces: Recruitment
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of recruits who enlisted in the Army under the age of 18 joined the infantry in the latest period for which figures are available. 
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Armed Forces: Training
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of all new recruits enlisting in (a) the armed forces and (b) the Army undertook Phase One training at (i) AFC Harrogate and (ii) AFTC Winchester in 2010-11. 
Nick Harvey: The Army Foundation College Harrogate and the Army Technical Foundation College Winchester are phase 1 training units for junior entry soldiers. Recruits enlisting in the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force do not attend either of these colleges.
During the period September 2010 to September 2011, a total of 9,770 recruits enlisted in the Army of which 2,114 (21.6%) undertook phase 1 training at the Army Foundation College Harrogate and 950 (9.7%) undertook phase 1 training at the Army Technical Foundation College Winchester.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of recruits undertaking Phase One training at (a) the Army Foundation College in Harrogate and (b) the Army Technical Foundation College in Winchester successfully attained (i) Level 1 functional skills in literacy, (ii) Level 1 functional skills in numeracy, (iii) a Level 2 ITQ diploma, (iv) Level 2 functional skills in literacy and (v) Level 2 functional skills in numeracy in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Nick Harvey: All recruits training at the Army Foundation College Harrogate undertake vocational qualifications. All soldiers are enrolled on a level 2 apprenticeship for IT users which consists of the level 2 iTQ diploma for IT users along with functional skills (FS) in literacy and numeracy at level 1. All those who achieve level 1 FS in literacy and numeracy during the programme have the additional opportunity to achieve those skills at level 2.
The number of junior soldiers enrolled on the Army apprenticeship at the Army Foundation College Harrogate on the last intake for which figures are available (September 2010 to August 2011) was 536. The numbers and percentage of those achieving the qualifications requested are as follows:
|Qualification||Number of passes||Percentage of enrolled|
The purpose of phase 1 education at the Army Technical Foundation College Winchester is to set in place the academic foundation that the recruits will require in order to succeed at their chosen apprenticeships in phase 2. Most recruits upon enlisting at the Army Technical Foundation College Winchester already hold qualifications at level 1 in literacy and numeracy.
The numbers and percentage of those recruits taking and achieving the qualifications requested while attending the last intake at the Army Technical Foundation College Winchester for which figures are available (March to September 2011) are as follows:
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|Qualification||Numbers taking||Number of passes||Percentage of passes|
Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) bi-lateral and (b) multi-lateral meetings (i) he and (ii) his officials have had with their international counterparts to discuss the agreement of a robust arms trade treaty in preparation for the final Preparatory Committee in February 2012. 
Nick Harvey: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence fully supports efforts to secure an arms trade treaty (ATT). He and other Ministers are fully engaged in developments on ATT and have discussed this issue with their counterparts in the course of normal Defence business.
Her Majesty's Government, led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is working closely with international counterparts to secure an ATT and Ministry of Defence officials have contributed to this work where appropriate.
Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to ensure a transparent reporting mechanism and effective monitoring and verification procedures are part of any agreement on the arms trade treaty. 
Nick Harvey: The UK already reports details of exports across a number of treaties and regimes, including the Wassenaar Arrangement; the UN Register of Conventional Arms; and the Annual Review of Strategic Export Controls. Ministry of Defence officials are working closely with their colleagues in other Government Departments to argue for effective and transparent reporting mechanisms as part of an arms trade treaty, including procedures on monitoring and verification. These issues are regularly raised in meetings with other states and during the UN negotiations.
Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution his Department is making to developing policy on the inclusion of import, export, re-export, transit, transhipment, brokering activities and the gifting, loan or lease of arms within the terms of the arms trade treaty. 
Nick Harvey: The UK supports an arms trade treaty (ATT) with a broad scope that covers a range of activities and transfers. Ministry of Defence officials, as part of a cross-Whitehall team on ATT, have held a number of technical meetings on different aspects of the treaty, including how different types of transfer and activity could be dealt with by an ATT, and these meetings will continue as we approach the UN conference in July 2012.
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Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department's officials at each grade are working on the arms trade treaty negotiations; whether there has been any change in the personnel leading on this matter; and whether he expects any further changes to be made before July 2012. 
Nick Harvey: Two officials from the Department's Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation branch cover arms trade treaty issues and are active members of the cross-Whitehall team which is led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. These officials are able to call upon other specialist advice from within the Department as required. There have been no changes to the personnel leading on this matter since June 2011 and it is not expected that there will be any changes to personnel before July 2012.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution his Department has made to policy development on including small arms, light weapons and ammunition within the terms of the arms trade treaty. 
Nick Harvey: The UK supports a comprehensive scope for an arms trade treaty (ATT), including small arms, light weapons and ammunition. Ministry of Defence officials, as part of a cross-Whitehall team on ATT, have held a number of technical meetings on different aspects of the treaty, including on the treaty's scope, and these meetings will continue as we approach the UN conference in July 2012.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which representatives from his Department have attended each of the UN Preparatory Committee meetings for the international arms trade treaty; and which representatives from his Department will attend the meeting in February 2012. 
Nick Harvey: Representatives from the Department's Arms Control and Counter Proliferation branch have attended previous preparatory committee meetings on the arms trade treaty. The exact size and make-up of the UK delegation for the preparatory committee meeting in February 2012 will be finalised shortly.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to ensure negotiations for an arms trade treaty in 2012 include representatives from civil society, non-governmental organisations and the defence industry. 
Nick Harvey: Civil society and non-governmental organisations have played a crucial role in the progress made on an arms trade treaty (ATT) so far, including through regular meetings with UK officials engaged on ATT. Ambassador Moritan of Argentina, the Chair of the UN process on ATT, has ensured that civil society retained a voice during the negotiations, and the Ministry of Defence, as part of the UK's negotiation team will continue to support this approach at the UN conference in 2012.
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staff working in overseas posts; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the treaty is raised in all relevant bi-lateral meetings. 
Nick Harvey: The UK maintains a leading global position on an Arms Trade treaty (ATT). Updates and briefings on the treaty are regularly provided to, overseas Defence posts and senior officials in co-ordination with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. ATT is regularly raised in bilateral and multilateral meetings with states and this outreach will intensify as we approach the crucial Negotiating Conference in July 2012.
Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on deploying Challenger 2 tanks in combat operations before the outcome of the review of the CHARM3 weapon system under Article 36 of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
Challenger Tanks: International Law
Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency plans have been put in place in the event that the outcome of the review of the legality of the CHARM3 weapon system under Article 36 of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 concludes that its use could breach international humanitarian law. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times his Department has used the services of debt recovery companies since May 2010; which companies were used; and if he will make a statement. 
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which of his Department's contractors (a) he and (b) his officials have met to discuss his proposed Defence White Paper since July 2011. 
Peter Luff: Ministry of Defence Ministers and officials have regular meetings with industry representatives. In recent months this has included discussion over the forthcoming White Paper on technology, equipment and support. In particular there have been meetings of the Defence Suppliers Forum on 14 July 2011 and of its SME group on 16 September 2011.
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Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) publishes an annual estimate of defence inflation. This is based on data relating to inflation within defence contracts, military and civilian personnel labour costs, and cash office expenditure.
|Defence inflation in the UK, 2005-06 to 2010-11|
|All Defence (UK) (2)||Contracts (3,4)|
|Financial year||Index and growth rate|
|(1) These weights apply to the 2010-11 measure. Due to chain-linking, weights reflect the expenditure pattern within the base year not the reference year, e.g. for the 2010-11 inflation measure weights reflect expenditure in 2009-10. (2) From 2010-11, the methodology for estimating inflation in military labour costs was reviewed and improved following availability of new data sources. The change in methodology means direct comparisons of 2010-11 defence inflation rates with historical estimates are not possible. (3) Inflation in defence contracts represents inflation in the expenditure by the Department on contracts, major equipment projects and payments. (4) In 2009-10, 64% of defence expenditure was on contracts: with a further 34% on labour costs and 2% on cash offices.|
|1 May 2010||1 November 2011 (1)|
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|(1) Denotes provisional—May 2010 Service personnel figures are ‘provisional’ due to poor data quality which is currently under review. (2) Full-time trained strength comprises trained UK regular forces, trained Gurkhas and elements of the full-time reserve service (PTRS) that may be deployed overseas, including Full Commitment (FC), Limited Commitment (LC), Home Commitment (HC) personnel. Figures do not include mobilised reservists, Long Term Absentees and untrained personnel. (2) Civilian personnel includes all full and part-time, permanent and casual personnel employed within MOD Core TLBs, Trading Funds, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Locally engaged civilians. Notes: 1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias. 2. November 2011 civilian figures are ‘provisional’ due to non-availability of some locally engaged civilian data.|
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any senior staff in (a) his Department and (b) its Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies are paid by means of payments to a limited company in lieu of a salary; and if he will publish his policy on such payments. 
Mr Robathan [holding answer 5 December 2011]: I can confirm that none of the senior staff in the Ministry of Defence, its Executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies are paid by means of payments to a limited company in lieu of a salary.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedures his Department has put in place to ensure value for money on purchases; and what savings have been realised through use of such procedures in the last year. 
Peter Luff: Obtaining value for money is an integral part of any purchasing decision. The strategic defence and security review, the planning round, defence reform and particularly defence acquisition reform have all been part of the process of promoting value for money in defence spending. In addition, internal guidance for personnel on purchasing emphasise the key objective of obtaining value for money, and ensure that the business cases required for any significant expenditure set out the value for money implications of the proposal. For the most significant categories of expenditure, decisions are taken on the orders of the Investment Approval Committee, which is chaired by the Department's director general of finance, and which has a firm focus on value for money. In addition, the Defence Financial Management Reform team are currently pursuing work to strengthen the Department’s financial management, based on key recommendation from Lord Levene's Review that:
“Financial management throughout the Department should be considerably strengthened and there should be a widely-shared culture of managing Defence within available resources and realistic assumptions about the longer-term budget. At the centre, the DG
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Finance should be a member of the new Defence Board, chair its Investment Approvals Committee and set standards and policy for financial management across Defence. Responsibility and accountability should be aligned for all TLB holders, with responsibility and budgets for detailed capability planning passing to the Service Chiefs and Commander Joint Force Command.”
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which contracts his Department has renegotiated following the Strategic Defence and Security Review; what estimate he has made of the savings to the public purse arising from each contract renegotiation; and what legal costs were incurred in each case. 
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) was required to review approximately 500 extant contracts across 100 equipment programmes with a total value of in excess of £10 billion over the comprehensive spending review (CSR) period as a result of decisions taken in the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Initial focus has been on the contracts that will deliver the highest savings in the early years of the CSR period. The MOD has already renegotiated around 30 contracts relating to the Nimrod and Harrier programmes. Considerable effort is proceeding within the MOD on this activity and we expect the process of renegotiating these contracts to continue well into 2012.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what structure his Department uses for the security classification of documents; when it was last reviewed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence uses the Government Protective Marking Scheme for the security classification of its documents as mandated in the Cabinet Office's Security Policy Framework . The current scheme was issued in March 2009.
Mr Robathan: External recruitment to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for grades below the senior civil service (SCS) is carried out by Defence Business Services Civilian HR (formerly known as the People Pay and Pensions Agency). Where external recruitment for SCS posts is required, recruitment agencies may be asked to carry out an initial search for suitable candidates. In the months in question, the MOD spent the following amounts on recruitment agency fees in connection with SCS level recruitment:
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|Note: All figures are inclusive of VAT.|
Mr Robathan: No redundancy payments have been made to Ministry of Defence civil servants who left between September and November 2011 in response to the savings required by the strategic defence and security review. The Department's aim is that, so far as possible, the necessary savings will be made without recourse to compulsory redundancy. We have, however, made compensation payments as follows to 2,503 civil servants over that period who have left the Department under our voluntary early release scheme, launched in February.
|2011||Staff numbers||Compensation (£ million)|
Services: Social Value
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to ensure social value is included when services are commissioned by (a) his Department and (b) its public bodies; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence, and its public bodies, commission services on the basis of value for money, which is defined as the optimum combination of quality and through life costs to meet the requirement. Our policy is that social value may be included in the requirement provided it is consistent with ensuring value for money for the taxpayer, is relevant to the subject of the contract, delivers a benefit to the contracting authority and complies with the principles of EU procurement law.
|2010-11||2011-12 (to end September)|
|(1) Not recorded discretely.|
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Figures for travel arranged outside the Defence travel contract are not held but most air and rail travel is booked through the contract. We have made substantial savings in the amount of travel made first-class in the past few years, comparable figures for 2009-10 being £230,000 (estimated) for first-class air travel and £5.6 million for first-class rail travel.
Defence Ministers do not travel first-class by air and MOD staff are not permitted to travel first-class by air. In exceptional circumstances, first-class accommodation on an aircraft may be authorised for medical evacuations, on medical advice, or for compassionate reasons where there is no practical alternative to first-class accommodation.
First-class travel by rail is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. Such travel must be authorised in advance by a senior officer or official, taking account of any management benefit or the needs of staff with disabilities, in accordance with the civilian or service regulations as appropriate.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what volunteering (a) he and (b) other Ministers in his Department have undertaken as part of the One Day Challenge; what the nature of the work undertaken was; on what dates it took place; and what the names were of the organisations assisted. 
Mr Robathan: Ministers carry out their duties in line with the Ministerial Code. Any volunteering activities in a personal capacity are a private matter for them. Relevant interests, which may include voluntary activities, are published by the Cabinet Office in the List of Ministers' Interests.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2011, Official Report, column 472W, on ex-servicemen: employment, how many of those who secured employment within six months of leaving retained that employment for six months or longer. 
Ex-servicemen: War Pensions
Mr Robathan: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The war pensions computer system does not have the facility to uniquely identify people who participated in nuclear tests and who receive a war disablement pension.
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Compensation in the form of a war disablement pension is available to all former members of HM forces who suffer disablement which is attributable to service prior to 6 April 2005, including nuclear test veterans. The causal link may be with any part of their service. There are currently 140,000 war pensions in payment.
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many Gurkha recipients of UK service pensions who until May 2009 received those pensions in Nepal, now receive them in the UK; 
Mr Robathan: Details of how many former Gurkhas have been in receipt of a UK service pension in Nepal in each year since 2004 and those who, until May 2009, received their pensions in Nepal but now receive them in the UK, are not held.
Japan Tobacco International
Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any (a) Ministers and (b) special advisers in his Department have received hospitality from Japan Tobacco International since May 2010. 
Mr Philip Hammond: Information about hospitality received by Ministers and special advisers is published quarterly by Departments. Information for the period 13 May 2010-30 June 2011 can be accessed on the Ministry of Defence website at the following address:
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence regrets any unintended insensitivity on its part and a complete review of all the correspondence undertaken by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency with bereaved families has been instigated.
It is departmental policy never to ask the families of those killed in service to pay money back. Our aim is always to ensure families receive the right amount of money as quickly as possible and to conduct a reconciliation of their pay accounts as soon as we have all the information available to us. We do not collect any money from the families of deceased personnel, but we do adjust future payments to ensure families receive all the money to which they are entitled; this includes a payment for any unspent days of leave.
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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to take delivery from Lockheed Martin of the three joint combat aircraft with serial numbers (a) BK-1, (b) BK-2 and (c) CF-17; and where these aircraft will undergo initial operational testing and evaluation. 
Peter Luff: Subject to both aircraft completing production at Lockheed Martin and undergoing satisfactory acceptance checks we expect to take delivery of the UK's first two Joint Strike Fighter aircraft (BK-l and BK-2) in May 2012. CF-17 is the designation for a United States Marine Corps aircraft which we have agreed in principle to exchange for the UK's BK-3 aircraft. We have yet to finalise the details of this exchange with the US. CF-17 is likely to be re-titled CK-1.
Initial operational testing and evaluation will be conducted jointly with the US services at Edwards Air Force Base in California, following pilot and maintainer training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Peter Luff: The first Airbus 330-200 Voyager aircraft was dispatched to the AirTanker Ltd facility at RAF Brize Norton on 22 December 2011. This will allow the company to undertake the work required to register the aircraft; obtain the Civilian Aviation Authority Certificate of Airworthiness; prepare for handover and undertake familiarisation training for its staff.
Ground and Air-Air-Refuelling trials between the Voyager aircraft and Tornado GR.4 are continuing and progress has been made. During a trials programme, issues emerged on the stability of the hose and fuel leakage. Such incidents are not unusual in trials. Engineering solutions for these issues have been identified and are being developed.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of recent reports concerning the (a) Helmet mounted display system, (b) structural airframe and (c) fuel tank venting and arrestor hook system on the F-35C aircraft. 
We continue to closely monitor all aspects of the Joint Strike Fighter development programme. The Ministry of Defence is fully aware of the issues referred to by the hon. Member and believes that such issues are to be expected during a complex development
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programme. Corrective action, led by the US programme team and at no extra cost to the UK, is under way for each of the issues and there are no indications of any fundamental design risks.
Nick Harvey: A range of capabilities is available to UK forces operating in Afghanistan including the Reaper armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System. The UK Reaper system does not have the capability to deploy weapons autonomously and can only release its weapons when commanded to do so by the fully trained and qualified flight crew operating on the ground. The policy governing the use of Reaper is identical to that for conventionally piloted combat aircraft operating in Afghanistan. UK forces in Afghanistan come under the command of the NATO International Security and Assistance Forces (ISAF) and in doing so operate in accordance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) (also known as the Law of Armed Conflict) and UK Rules of Engagement. Military lawyers based in Afghanistan advise on all aspects of operations and the selection and prosecution of all ISAF targets is the subject of a rigorous process that is compliant with IHL.
Mr Gerald Howarth: As the hon. Member knows, defence attachés are appointed to Diplomatic Heads of Missions’ staff as the Chief of the Defence Staff’s representative and Head of the Defence Section to represent the Ministry of Defence and UK armed forces. They work closely with their host governments to pursue close bilateral defence relationships, build partnerships between our armed forces and provide bespoke military support to Her Majesty's Government's policy priorities to protect and promote the UK's influence and interests. Defence attachés' unique relationships and access deliver disproportionate soft power projection and influence. They work to promote British values and regional policies, advance regional development and prevent conflict. They deliver significant effect to counter terrorism, support conflict resolution in fragile states and where appropriate, provide specialist knowledge and influence to assist to build UK prosperity.
The UK has defence attachés and advisers in 71 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria Hub (covering Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Kosovo, Slovenia, Slovakia and Switzerland,), Bahrain, Baltic States (Estonia), Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland (non resident, accredited from London), Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman,
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Pakistan, Poland, Portugal (non resident, accredited from London), Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Somalia (based in Kenya), Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America (with a further attaché to the UK Mission to UN New York), Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Between them these attachés and advisers cover a further 74 countries through the process of non-resident accreditation. Those countries are: Albania, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cape Verde Islands, Cayman Islands, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Eritrea, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Iceland, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Puerto Rico, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Romania, Rwanda, Seychelles, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.
In 2010-11 the total costs of provision of defence attaché and adviser cover to these countries was £43,623, 976, of which £31,828, 619 was attaché costs and £11,803,356 Foreign and Commonwealth Office charges for provision of service accommodation.
Military Bases: Kirknewton
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Edinburgh West of 5 September 2011, Official Report, column 91W, on military bases: Kirknewton, on what basis Kirknewton was assessed as offering best value for money; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: On 18 July 2011, Official Report, columns 643-45, the previous Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), set out the basis for the decisions made during the Basing Review.
A key aim for the review was to set out a geographical footprint for Army units returning from Germany that delivered the operational and personnel requirements, and made the most efficient use of the existing Defence estate.
We therefore outlined a broad strategy of changing the usage of under-used sites, including making Kirknewton an Army barracks, and realising receipts from the sale of high-value sites no longer required. Detailed value for money assessments will be made only as specific decisions are taken and changes made.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Defence Basing Review Team was provided with estimates of the cost of building new barracks at Kirknewton, West Lothian prior to 18 July 2011. 
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Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) date and (b) location was of each incident on motorways and approaches to motorways involving fires in vehicles carrying ammunition in each of the last five years. 
Peter Luff [holding answer 19 December 2011]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has no record of any incident on motorways, or approaches to motorways, that have involved fires in MOD vehicles carrying ammunition during the last five years. There was however a commercial vehicle moving ammunition on behalf of the MOD that suffered a brake fire in the cab unit. The incident happened on the morning of 22 August 2011 at the Crown Lane roundabout on the A4042. The fire brigade was called, but before they arrived on scene the driver and escort of the lorry had de-coupled the cab unit from the trailer and extinguished the fire. The vehicle was compliant with UK and EU regulations on the movement of dangerous goods.
Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Royal Navy ships are (a) at sea, (b) ready for deployment, (c) at reduced readiness and (d) mothballed; and if he will make a statement. 
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|(1) HMS Illustrious is now operating in the Landing Platform Helicopter role, as well as HMS Ocean.|
Each of these units will be progressing through different readiness states in response to our operational needs, together with maintenance and training programmes, and the harmony requirements of their ships' companies. The Royal Navy categorises the readiness of its ships in accordance with the following table which is taken from the National Audit Office report ‘Assessing and Reporting Military Readiness’, published on 15 June 2005, which is available in the Library of the House.
We do not reveal the readiness level of individual ships as to do so would enable deductions to be made about the condition and preparedness of units and of the Navy. This would therefore be prejudicial to the safety of individual units and to national security.
As the term “mothballed” is not used by the Department for the condition of a ship, I have interpreted your question as referring to very low readiness. As of December 2011, the Royal Navy has no ships in this category.
Peter Luff: No complete Nimrod MR2 or Nimrod MRA4 electronic system has been installed on other aircraft or naval vessels. However, a number of platforms have benefited from being able to utilise elements of electronic systems from Nimrod MR2 and Nimrod MRA4.
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Mr Robathan: Decisions on disposals of Royal Navy wrecks are taken on a case by case basis, having regard to the circumstances of the individual vessels. A major factor in any such decision would be whether or not the remains of a ship, sunk with loss of life, were considered as the last resting place of those who gave their lives. It is not current Ministry of Defence practice either to sell such wrecks or to issue salvage licences in respect of them.
Written Questions: Government Responses
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to answer question (a) 70848, (b) 70850 and (c) 70851, on procurement contracts, tabled on 5 September 2011 for answer on 7 September 2011; and if he will make a statement. 
Culture, Media and Sport
Arts Council England
Chris Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what recent assessment he has made of the value for money of the funding provided for The Public Arts Centre; 
Mr Vaizey: Arts Council England (ACE) commissioned Anthony Blackstock's report ‘The Public: Lessons learned by Arts Council England’, the contents of which have been noted by this Department. ACE has adopted measures that significantly reduce the level of risk for future projects and its new capital programme reflects the recommendations made in the report. ACE's response to the report is publicly available at:
ACE funds projects at arm's length from Government and it is not for Government to intervene in individual funding decisions. ACE continues to monitor and assess the visitor numbers and building use of The Public Arts Centre.
Arts Council England: Finance
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many organisations with cinema presentation facilities are regularly funded organisations of Arts Council England. 
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Mr Vaizey: Arts Council England does not collect data on the cinema presentation facilities of their regularly funded organisations, though does support such facilities as the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool and the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, which do have cinema presentation facilities.
Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many households have new broadband connections as a result of the Government working with house builders. 
Mr Vaizey: The Government have made no assessment of the number of new broadband connections as a result of working with house builders. The Publicly Available Specification: Next Generation Access for new build homes (PAS 2016) published in December 2010 is intended to provide developers and house builders with the information they need to make informed decisions on how to ensure homes are best-equipped for next generation connectivity.
Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with BT on the provision of super-fast broadband to the third of the UK population in hard-to-reach communities.