Armed Forces Bill
TO BE MOVED
IN GRAND COMMITTEE
THE LORD BISHOP OF WAKEFIELD
Page 2, line 4, leave out from beginning to end of line 26 on page 3 and insert—
““359A Review of armed forces welfare
(1) The Secretary of State shall be required to hold an independent review of the welfare needs of and provision for serving armed forces personnel and veterans not less than once every four years; and the first such review shall happen not later than 18 months after the Armed Forces Act 2011 receives the Royal Assent.
(2) The Secretary of State shall appoint a Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare.
(3) The Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare shall monitor and report on the provision of welfare services for armed forces personnel and veterans; in particular, the Reviewer shall consider and make recommendations about—
(a) the fulfilment of the duty of care to bereaved service families;
(b) injured and ill service personnel and their ongoing support, care and wellbeing;
(c) the appropriate provision of health services for veterans;
(d) how obligations under the armed forces covenant are being met.
(4) The Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare shall consider other issues as the Reviewer sees fit, unless prevented from doing so by an order made under subsection (5).
(5) The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument prevent the Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare from investigating certain areas if the Secretary of State reasonably believes that to do so would risk—
(a) national security;
(b) operational requirements and efficiency.
(6) The Secretary of State shall pay remuneration and allowances to the Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare.
(7) The Secretary of State—
(a) shall before the beginning of each financial year specify a maximum sum which the Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare may spend on functions for that year.
(b) may permit that to be exceeded for a specified purpose, and
(c) shall defray the Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare’s expenditure for each financial year subject to paragraphs (a) and (b).
(8) The Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare shall hold and vacate office in accordance with terms of appointment (which may include provision about retirement, resignation or dismissal).
(9) The Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare may appoint staff.
(10) The Reviewer of Armed Forces Welfare shall report in writing to the Secretary of State—
(a) at least once every four calendar years, in relation to the production of a full welfare audit as set out in subsection (3);
(b) annually on progress made in meeting the welfare needs of armed forces personnel;
(c) at other times as requested by the Secretary of State in relation to specified matters.
(11) The Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament a copy of any report received under subsection (10).
(12) But a copy may omit material if the Secretary of State thinks that its publication—
(a) is undesirable for reasons of national security,
(b) may affect operational efficiency, or
(c) might jeopardise an individual’s safety.””