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Lord Bach: The Ministry of Defence identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs that the department would have incurred regardless of the operation taking place such as wages and salaries are not included. Savings on activities that have not occurred because of the operationtraining exercises for exampleare deducted from the total costs of the operation.
Neither the net additional costs incurred by United Kingdom personnel engaged in the search for WMD in Iraq, nor the net additional costs of those engaged in reconstruction can be differentiated from the total net additional cost of UK personnel deployed to the Gulf region. For example, stock accounting records will identify the recipient of stock as entitled UK military personnel, not whether they are engaged in reconstruction work or in the search for WMD. It is therefore not possible to identify costs related solely to the WMD search team.
Lord Bach: For the financial year 200304, the Army Training and Recruiting Agency (ATRA) has been allocated a resource departmental expenditure limit (DEL)or budgetof £1,039 million, and a capital DEL of £23 million. This sum covers the recruiting of soldiers and officers (including advertising and marketing activities) and the cost of initial, specialist and career and professional development training. ATRA's target for recruitment in this year is 15,545 soldiers and 690 officers, although it is anticipated that not all of these will complete the selection and training process.
Lord Bach: The Ministry of Defence has a 10-year framework partnering agreement with Royal Ordnance plc (ROD), a British-based subsidiary of BAE Systems, for the supply of ammunition which includes propellant. There are robust agreements with subcontractors to ensure that MoD's future requirements are met and security of supply is taken into account when competing all requirements for ammunition including propellant.
The United Kingdom planning process ensures that we maintain sufficient stocks of ammunition to meet current operational planning assumptions; this includes maintaining a qualified source of propellant to meet forecast ammunition requirements.
The following firms currently supply ammunition to the Armed Forces as prime contractors: Bofors Defence Ltd Denel Dynamit Nobel Edgar Brothers Eley Ltd Eurometal FN Herstal General Dynamics Hull Cartridge Co Ltd Leafield Engineering Ltd MilKor (PTY) Ltd Nammo NICO Pyrotechnik Primetake Ltd Pyrotechnik Silberhutte GmbH Royal Ordnance plc Ruag Ammotech GmbH
Lord Bach: Service personnel are entitled to the full use of NHS hospitals on the same basis as other United Kingdom citizens if appropriate military provision is not available. They will therefore benefit from the sustained investment through the NHS Plan which will reduce waiting times. Provision for accelerated diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation to return service personnel back to fitness faster than would otherwise be the case is available through service level agreements (SLAs) with NHS trusts that host the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) in Birmingham and Ministry of Defence Hospital Units
Lord Bach: The Ministry of Defence identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs, which the department would have incurred had the operation not been undertakenexpenditure on wages and salaries or on conducting training exercises for exampleare deducted from the total costs of the operation.
Calculating all the costs of military action will take some time to determine since it will include the cost of ammunition, bombs and guided weapons consumed in excess of peacetime levels and equipment destroyed and damaged. Excluding those costs, the latest estimate is that the net additional cost of operations in Iraq for 200203 is around £700 million. This is less than the £1 billion set aside at Spring Supplementary Estimates 200203.
Items in the £700 million estimate include costs for the procurement of equipment or modifications under the heading of urgent operational requirements, increased maintenance and stock consumption, civil sea and air charter and provision of infrastructure in the theatre of operations. It is most likely that a comprehensive and robust figure for 200203 will be available only when the National Audit Office has approved the departmental resource accounts.
Lord Bach: United Kingdom and other coalition Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams in the UK's area of responsibility have completed over 1,000 tasks and destroyed over 100,000 individual munitions. We do not record types of munitions destroyed.
Lord Bach: The investigations into these two vehicles are continuing and we will take as long as necessary to conduct a thorough examination. As the Prime Minister has said in the past, we are going to assemble evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and present it properly to people at the appropriate time. I am withholding details of components and companies under Exemption 1c of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which relates to information received in confidence from foreign governments.
Lord Bach: The investigations into these two vehicles are continuing and we will take as long as necessary to conduct a thorough examination. As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister has said in the past, we are going to assemble evidence of Iraq's WMD and present it properly to people at the appropriate time.
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