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Column 439Letter from J. C. R. Hunt to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 25 January 1995:
The Defence Secretary has asked me to reply in respect of the Meteorological Office to the questions you recently asked about Next Steps agencies.
the translation of the Meteorological Office to agency status did not require us to acquire a new HQ building
some 22 extra staff were needed to support the changed organisation but overall staff numbers have fallen by 113 since Vesting Day
no new journals have been produced. The Meteorological Office publishes only one periodical, `Outlook', a customer magazine, at a cost of £40,000
no additional cars have been provided. I make use of a car and driver as part of RAF MT support, at an estimated cost of £24,000 the Meteorological did not change its logo when it became an agency
no corporate clothing was introduced
no corporate stationery was specially designed or printed; the Meteorological Office continued to use its existing logo.
I hope this gives you the information you need.
Letter from M. Wilson to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 27 January 1995:
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION ON NEXT STEPS AGENCIES
I am replying in respect of the Military Survey Defence Agency to your recent question reference PQ5744G on additional costs arising from our status as a Next Steps agency.
Taken in the order of your question, the answers are:
a. Headquarters Building The Military Survey headquarters is accommodated in the building occupied prior to agency launch. No expenditure on land or buildings has been incurred as a result of agency status.
b. Support Staff
The need to produce agency accounts has resulted in the establishment of two additional Management Accountant posts: 1 Senior Executive Officer and 1 Executive Officer with 2 supporting Administrative Officers. However, agency requirements aside, it is likely that the Management Accountancy posts would be needed in the future to support Treasury's resource accounting and budgeting initiatives.
A quarterly publication is produced to inform staff on policy and internal developments affecting Military Survey, but not specifically in the agency context. Whilst some copies are distributed outside Military Survey, it is intended principally as a house magazine. Editorial and publication costs are as follows:
Staff: £15,200 per annum
Production: £8,800 per annum
As a 2-star serving officer, the Director General has access to a Grade 1 staff car. This entitlement is not related to his capacity as an agency chief executive.
Military Survey acquired its logo some 50 years ago. No money has been spent on a corporate image since agency launch.
f. Corporate Clothing
g. Corporate Stationery
Military Survey uses standard MOD-style letter headings. No special stationery has been designed.
Please let me know if you require further information. I am copying this letter to Minister (Defence Procurement).
Column 440Letter from Captain W. Graham to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 24 January 1995:
The response to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Defence concerning questions on specific costings. Our responses are itemised below:
a. The NARO has not created a Headquarters building.
b. Two additional staff have duties directly attributable to Agency functions.
c. All Annual Reports and Accounts are produced at a cost of £8, 000 per annum. A Corporate Plan and Framework Document were produced when the Agency was launched, at a cost of £9,000 each.
d. No executive vehicle has been acquired as a consequence of the NARO's existence.
e. The NARO logo was designed using in-house Agency resources at no additional cost.
f. A NARO logo has been added to workforce overalls at a cost of £941.
g. NARO headed stationery has replaced MOD stationery at no additional cost.
Letter from Brian Raine to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 25 January 1995 :
I have been asked to reply to your Question on various matters concerning the Agency.
Queen Victoria School has not acquired any additional headquarters buildings since the introduction of Agency status. We have recruited one full time and one part time support staff to manage additional agency responsibilities.
The only periodical journal published is the annual School magazine at no cost to public funds.
The school has no executive cars, specially designed logos, corporate clothing or specially designed and printed corporate stationery.
I hope this answers your Questions satisfactorily, but if there is anything on which you wish me to elaborate, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Letter from R. H. Kyle to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 27 January 1995:
You asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he would set out for each of the Next Steps Agencies in his Department, whether they have acquired their own headquarters buildings and, if so, at what purchase cost or annual rental; how many support staff they have required which were not required when their operations were within his Department; how many of them published periodical journals and at what annual cost; how many have fleets of executive cars or single executive cars and at what annual costs; how many have specially designed logos and at what cost; how many have corporate clothing and at what cost; and what is the cost of specially designed and printed corporate stationery. As Chief Executive of the RAF Maintenance Group Defence Agency, I have been asked to reply with regard to my Agency. The RAF Maintenance Group Defence Agency has not acquired a new HQ building since achieving Agency status in 1991. The Agency's Headquarters staff still occupy offices in their parent Command's Headquarters building at Headquarters Logistics Command, RAF Brampton, Cambridgeshire. However, the space the Group occupies has reduced since the Agency formed in 1991.
Staff numbers were not increased as a result of adopting Agency status. Indeed, the overall number of HQ staff has been reduced significantly since launch and further reductions are planned as part of a rationalisation programme following the formation of Logistics Command. Any new posts that might be considered to exist solely because of Agency tasks and status were created by reorganising existing posts and activities.
The Agency does not publish a periodic journal, but it does publish its Annual Report and Accounts. Copies of this document are used for internal and external publicity purposes, as well as to meet the statutory reporting and accounting requirements. The cost
Column 441to the Department for the printing of the 1993/94 Report was £12, 673, including HMSO's management and handling charges.
The Maintenance Group's requirement for executive cars has not been affected by Agency status. If anything, the actual requirement has decreased in line with the decrease in the number of executive staff.
The Agency has not incurred any additional expense for headed stationery or specially designed logos as a result of attaining Agency status. Neither has the Agency adopted any form of corporate clothing.
Since its formation as a Defence Agency, the Maintenance Group has consistently achieved its Key Management Targets. Detailed reports against these targets are contained in the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts, the latest copy of which I have enclosed with this letter.
Letter from Peter Ayee to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 24 January 1995:
Next Steps Agencys
I write, as Chief Executive of the Royal Air Force Signals Engineering Establishment (RAFSEE), which was launched as a Next Steps Defence Agency on 22 November 1994, in response to your Written Question of 19 January 1995 to the Secretary of State for Defence. RAFSEE, which remains part of the Logistics Command of the Royal Air Force, is based at RAF Henlow and has a detached group at RAF Wyton. The Agency occupies the same buildings that it did before launch and has not acquired any additional staff, vehicles or corporate clothing. Moreover, it has not so far published any journals, created a logo or had any stationery specifically designed or printed for the Defence Agency.
Letter from John May to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 27 January 1995:
Parliamentary Question No. PQ5744G--Training Group Defence Agency Reply
I write in reply to your question of Thursday 19 January, in which you sought information about consequential costs of Next Steps agencies.
I am able to tell you that the launch of Training Group Defence Agency has not been accompanied by unwarrantable or unnecessary expenditure in any of the fields covered by your question. The Agency's Headquarters does not have its own building or executive cars; it shares the buildings and pool of cars established for Headquarters Royal Air Force Personnel & Training Command, of which it is an integral part. The Agency has not introduced any corporate clothing or any specially designed stationery and has no plans to do so; similarly, the Agency has no plans to add to the list of journals it has traditionally published from time to time as a Royal Air Force Group.
The Agency has not acquired any support staff beyond the specialists required to operate the management and financial regime required by the Next Steps initiative; the posts in question were established before the Agency was vested on 1 April 1994.
The Agency sometimes makes use of a simple logo that was developed in-house at no extra cost to the Agency's budget. This artwork was required to identify the Agency's corporate documentation that was lodged in the Libraries of the Houses of Parliament at the time of vesting, and will similarly identify future annual reports and accounts.
I am copying this letter to the Agency's owner, the Air Officer Commanding in Chief Headquarters Personnel and Training Command. Letter from Ian Mitchelson to Mr. Gerald Kaufman, dated 27 January 1995:
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION NEXT STEPS AGENCIES
Service Children's Schools (North West Europe) was formed as a Defence Agency in April 1991 within the Ministry of Defence to provide an educational service to dependent children residing with MOD personnel in North West Europe. The Agency's Headquarters
Column 442is collocated with among other formations Headquarters United Kingdom Support Command (Germany) and Headquarters 2 Group Royal Air Force at Rheindahlen and shares their accommodation. As part of the civilian component, which supports our Forces in Germany, the arrangements for the Agency's accommodation is covered by the Status of Forces Agreement which provides the basis for the stationing of Sending States Forces in Germany. Under this Agreement buildings are owned by the German Government and made available for use of the British Forces without charge. Therefore the Agency occupies accommodation under the same arrangements as that prior to its acquisition of Agency status.
Prior to its formation, some 28 support staff (ie
non-professional, non-educational staff), were employed directly in support of the provision of education to service children in Service Children's Schools (Germany), the forerunner of the Agency. These were employed at the Headquarters at Rheindahlen and in two Area Headquarters Offices.
In addition, Service Children's Schools received a significant degree of support (i.e. Financial, Budgetary, Contractual, Personnel, Legal, Property Management etc) from a multitude of sources both within BAOR and more widely from the Department. The organisation also received much administrative and professional support from the Service Children's Education Authority based in the United Kingdom. On formation at the outset of FY 1991/1992, the Agency's support staff increased to 36, in direct relation to the additional responsibilities that accompanied the change in status. Corresponding and no doubt greater savings in staff will have been made by those areas of the Department that were relinquishing their duties in respect of the new Agency.
In the period since the formation of the Agency, the support staff has increased in size to a current figure of 41. This has occurred partly as further responsibilities have been delegated to the Agency, but mainly in response to the demands placed upon SCS(NWE), by the need to manage the Agency's response to Drawdown, (ie, the reduction in Troop deployment in North West Europe and the consequent closure of schools). Some 40 schools have been closed over the period since September 1992.
With the conclusion of the Drawdown process later this year, the Agency has planned for FY 1995/1996 a rationalisation programme, to reduce the level of its support staff. This will include, for example, the closure of the two Area Education Offices and the loss of the associated staff. Whilst plans have yet to be finalised, it is expected that the Agency's support staff will reduce in number to about 36, the number with which it was originally formed. Further efficiency improvements may well prove possible as part of the Department's and Agency's continuing drive for value for money. SCS(NWE) produce one in-house journal for the benefit of parents and staff 3 times per year. It is compiled and edited in-house and published by HMSO at an annual cost of £7000.00 pa.
The Agency does not have any cars on its books at all. In order to meet travel needs for individual journeys the Agency does have access to a pool of cars operated by the Army in Germany on a self-drive basis. This arrangement also applies to the Chief Executive.
The Agency does have a logo, again this was designed in-house at no additional cost. The Agency does use its logo and letterhead on paper which is produced locally alongside all the other headed stationery used by UKSC(G) and HQ 2 Gp RAF (as was the case in the pre-Agency days) at no additional cost compared to other like stationery; however a notional cost can be provided if this would be helpful. I attach an example of the headed letters in use.
The Agency does not have any corporate clothing apart from discretionary ties which may be obtained by staff as a private transaction.
Column 443aircraft and naval minesweepers, along with associated equipment, support and infrastructure. Further orders for Tornado and training aircraft have been announced since January 1993.
Mr. Soames: The armed forces take a very serious view of bullying and senior armed forces personnel are aware that all allegations of bullying should be referred promptly for formal investigation. Guidance in the form of policy letters has been issued by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy to remind all personnel of the policy on bullying. The Royal Air Force also produced orders specifically covering bullying to be read and signed annually by officers. The Royal Air Force's policy on bullying and initiation ceremonies is also repeated in quarterly standing orders, which all Air Force personnel are required to read. In 1993, the Army published a discipline and standards paper, which included instructions to counter bullying.
Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions since 1991 no disciplinary action has been taken against soldiers who went absent without leave when on their return it was established that the absence was because of bullying.
Mr. Soames: Information about making complaints under the redress of complaints procedure provided for in the Service Discipline Acts is given to all new recruits on joining. Advice on making complaints about bullying is also included in the leaflet "The Armed Forces. Your Rights and Responsibilities" given to new recruits. Details of the redress of complaints procedures are also set out in Queen's regulations, which are available in every ship and service establishment. Advice on making complaints about bullying is also repeated in policy letters and other documents.
Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many courts martial there have been in each of the last five years; in how many of these the charge was related to some form of bullying; and in how many there was a guilty verdict.
Bullying is not an offence under the Services Discipline Acts, but is dealt with under charges such as conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, ill-treatment of subordinates, common assault and actual bodily harm. To identify the cases relating to bullying among all courts
Column 444martial records for the last five years would entail
Mr. Soames: The armed forces take a very serious view of bullying. It has been made clear throughout the services that bullying will not be tolerated and various measures have been taken by the services to counter bullying.
Mr. Soames: My Department regards all cases of bullying as serious and service personnel are aware that all complaints of bullying will be vigorously investigated and the perpetrators punished. Details of the seriousness of individual cases are not recorded centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Sir Nicholas Bonsor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and at what cost his Department purchased yachts from a Swedish company; whether the proposed purchase was announced in his Department's "Contracts Bulletin"; what consideration was given to the purchase of British-built yachts; and if he will make a statement.