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Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost to Strathclyde police of providing necessary assistance to truck cargo heavy duty mark II vehicles through Strathclyde in (a) 1993 94 and (b) 1994 95.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the cost of providing necessary assistance to truck cargo heavy duty mark II vehicles to (a) Central police, (b) Lothian police and (c) Dumfries and Galloway police.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: None of these police forces is routinely involved in escorting duties for these vehicles. The Ministry of Defence police and military security provide the necessary escort.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: Information on the number of teachers in Scotland teaching English as a second language in public sector schools was collected for the first time in the 1994 annual school census. As this information is still being processed, figures are not available yet.
Column 633to £985,000. Victim Support Scotland already produces a number of leaflets to help those persons who have suffered from criminal activities. On 20 February 1995, a new booklet for victims of rape and sexual assault was launched in the presence of my noble and learned Friend the Minister of State. The Scottish Office was actively involved in its preparation and an additional grant of £8, 000 was made to defray costs.
Mr. Lang: As the information sought is extensive, I shall write to the hon. Member and arrange for copies of the list to be placed in the Library of the House. The list records all appointments made by me, other than re-appointments, to non-departmental public bodies and NHS trusts over the 12 months commencing 2 March 1994.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much forestry owned by the Forestry Commission in (a) Strathclyde and (b) Scotland has been sold in the last 10 years; if moneys obtained in this way are used to fund projects in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro: In the 10 years to 31 December 1994, the Forestry Commission sold 43,847 hectares of forestry land in Scotland, of which 9,126 hectares were in Strathclyde. The money raised from the sale of Forestry Commission land is currently paid into the Consolidated Fund.
Mrs. Fyfe: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the cost of producing his recent publication of the parents charter; and what is the budget for publicity for the booklet entitled "Higher Still: Opportunity for All".
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 14 March 1995]: Cost incurred in producing and printing the updated parents charter in Scotland are of the order of £45,000. To date, 80,000 copies have been printed. Initially, 15,000 copies were circulated to schools and other interested parties. Such has been the popularity of the charter that requests have been received for a further 55,000 copies. Costs incurred in producing and printing "Higher Still: Opportunity for All" were of the order of £10,000.
Mr. Bill Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland under which statute Scottish Enterprise Tayside may provide public fund assistance for tourist-related capital projects in Tayside; and what share of the total cost involved in approved projects may be paid out of public funds; and what provision has been made in respect of unique projects which began under the Scottish tourist board's grant scheme, to ensure that starting work did not prejudice applications for assistance towards each phase of the cost of the total project.
Mr. Kynoch [holding answer 13 March 1995]: The activities of Scottish Enterprise Tayside, including the provision of assistance from public funds, are governed by the terms of its operating contract with Scottish Enterprise. The statutory powers and functions of Scottish Enterprise, including its power to delegate the discharge of some of these powers and functions, are set out in the Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990, as amended. The other matters raised are operational matters for Scottish Enterprise and I have asked its chairman to write to my hon. Friend.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date a circular based on DBI Associates Ltd.'s report on NHS information and computer systems was issued to the general manager of the national breast screening service in Scotland; and what action has been taken to date on that circular by that manager.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 March 1995]: The Scottish breast screening programme information system is supported by the computer centre which serves the Common Services Agency. NHS management executive letter (1992) 45 entitled "Computer Security Guidelines", based on the DBI Associates Ltd.'s report, was issued in September 1992 to all health board general managers, the general manager of the CSA, NHS trust chief executives and unit general managers. It was also copied to all IT directors and computer centre managers.
A full external review of the SBSP information system was carried out in 1992 93 and it was confirmed that the system was working satisfactorily in all its components, including the call-re-call system.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what actions he took to ensure that all of the recommendations in DBI Associates Ltd.'s report on NHS information and computer systems were acted upon by NHS managers in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 March 1995]: Computer security guidelines were issued under NHS MEL(1992)45 in September 1992. The circular notified health boards, NHS trusts and NHS computer centres of the outcome of the DBI study, offered guidance in the form of a guidance booklet and indicated what action was required.
A formal statement of security policy for the NHS in Scotland was agreed and issued in May 1993 under circular NHS MEL(1993)59. This spelled out the roles and responsibilities required within health boards and NHS trusts.
Under the security policy, all health boards and NHS trusts were required to appoint an IT security officer and
Column 635his duties were detailed. Health systems division also took steps to appoint an IT security specialist to enable the management executive to develop central guidance and advice.
A detailed IT security manual was produced by Health Systems Division and issued under circular NHS MEL(1994)75 in August 1994. The manual is intended for all staff involved in any aspect of IT systems.
Health systems division has sponsored further studies at eight national health service in Scotland sites in 1994 95.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library a copy of the report on NHS information and computer systems carried out by DBI Associates Ltd. for the NHS management executive in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 March 1995]: A copy of the DBI Associates Ltd.'s report "IT Security Review for the DIS" is being placed in the Library of both Houses together with: a) Management executive letter (1992) 45 attaching the document "IT Security Guidelines".
b) Management executive letter (1993) 59 attaching the document "IT Security Policy".
c) Management executive letter (1994) 75 attaching the documents comprising the "IT Security Manual".
The management executive letters have been extensively circulated within the NHS in Scotland.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the advice to be issued in April to health boards and trusts by the NHS national working group on the market testing of information technology services will be advisory or mandatory; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 12 March 1992]: As part of the market testing of computer services, a formal procurement exercise is underway involving three potential commercial suppliers and an in-house bid. The customers have, of course, been involved in the procurement process. Before best and final offers are invited from suppliers who have demonstrated their ability to meet NHS in Scotland requirements, health boards and trusts will state, on an individual basis, the services they require from the successful supplier. On receipt of best and final offers the national working group will evaluate the offers and recommend a winning supplier for each area. Health boards and NHS trusts will sign individual contract documents with the successful supplier for the services they have specified. It will be for each health board and NHS trust to decide whether it will sign the contract documents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. L. E. Peterken |Chairman |Director of Special | Projects Mr. R. Calderwood |Chief Executive |Southern General | NHS Trust Miss L. Barrie |General Manager |Tayside Health Board Mr. J. Hudson |Director of Finance |Tayside Health | Board Mr. I. C. Smith |General Manager |Argyll and Clyde | Health Board Mr. F. Gibb |Acting General |Common Services | Manager | Agency Mr. D. Wright |Director of Acute |Highland Health | Care Purchasing | Board Mr. J. Owens |Chief Executive |Royal Infirmary of | Edinburgh NHS | Trust Mr. M. Ord |Chief Executive |Fife Health Care | NHS Trust Mr. C. Knox |Head of Computing |Management | and IT Strategy | Executive Mr. D. Hogg |Branch Head |Management | Executive
National working group meetings are also attended by the chairman and project managers for each of the three package areas as follows:
------------------------------------------------------------------------ North/North East Chairman |Mr. R. Fletcher- |Angus NHS Trust |Chief Executive Project Manager |Mrs. R. Jack-IS |Grampia | Director | Board |Mr. M. Murray |Grampian Health | Board West Chairman |Mr. K. Brewer- |Renfrewshire | Chief Executive| Healthcare NHS | Trust Project Manager |Mr. W. Hart |Greater Glasgow | Health Board Central Chairman |Mr. K. Thomson- |Law Hospital NHS | Chief Executive| Trust Project Manager |Mr. M. Cook |Lothian Health |Board
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what guidance has been issued centrally to health boards and trusts in respect of market testing of NHS information technology services and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 15 March 1995]: The fundamental guidance to health boards and trusts on market testing is contained in the NHS circular GEN(1993)13 "Market Testing in the NHS".
In the course of market testing of the NHS computer services, the national working group on computer services has ensured that health boards and NHS trusts have been kept up to date with the progress of the exercise, the actions required of boards and trusts and the issues which have arisen.
Advice has been available to the NHS in Scotland through the central legal office on contractual matters and from the CCTA on procurement issues. The procurement is being conducted in accordance with EC procurement regulations.
Guidance to health boards and trusts has also been directed through local implementation groups for each of the three package areas--north/north- east, west and central--under which the service requirements of each individual board and trust have been co-ordinated and discussions and negotiations with potential suppliers have been held.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he has taken to ensure that the national breast screening service in Scotland carries out a regular audit of systems it uses for patient recall and other patient centre activities.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 March 1995]: The national Scottish breast screening programme information system is run at local offices but nationally maintained, supported and developed in line with recognised NHS information technology standards.
Audit is a fundamental element of systems management and development and is undertaken regularly on the SBSP information system.
In 1992 93, a full external review of the system was commissioned by the SBSP. It was confirmed that the system was operating satisfactorily and all additional recommended enhancements have been put in place.
Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date Ministers were informed that a mistake had been made at Dundee royal infirmary in the patient recall system of the national breast screening service, in respect of the records of women who had used that service; and when a decision was taken by Ministers not to carry through a national check of the records of all the women who had used the service in Scotland since 1989.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton [holding answer 13 March 1995]: Ministers were informed of the procedural error which had occurred at the Dundee breast screening centre based at Dundee royal infirmary, on 2 December 1994. Ministers were kept informed about the action taken to check the records of all the women who had attended the Dundee centre since it opened in December 1989. Professional and medical advice was taken at all stages and, in particular, on the need to preserve patient confidentiality.
The other six Scottish breast screening centres were asked to check their fail-safe procedures immediately and confirmed that they were fully operational in line with the tight standards set by the Scottish breast screening programme to minimise the risk of error. In addition, a check of all the interval cancers--that is, cancers which occur in the three-yearly interval between screenings--identified in the SBSP was instituted to ensure that no other cancers had been diagnosed following such a procedural error. This was the case. The Scottish breast screening programme decided that the scale of any problem should be fully assessed before taking any action which would cause public alarm. The Dundee record review showed a rate of procedural errors which was 1.1 in 10,000 screenings. Against that background and the action which had already been taken to verify fail-safe procedures and check interval cancers, SBSP professionals considered that they should undertake a managed review of all Scottish records without causing disruption to the screening programme.
That recommendation was made to Ministers on 2 March 1995. They agreed immediately that, in the light of public concern, a review exercise should commence in the other six Scottish breast screening centres to offer full reassurance to women.
Mr. Lang [holding answer 6 March 1995]: At 1 July 1994, 1.4 per cent. of non-industrial staff within the Scottish Office core and its executive agencies other than the Scottish Prison Service were registered disabled. Central personnel records indicated that a further 0.2 per cent. of staff were disabled, although not registered.
At that time, 0.05 per cent. of non-industrial staff in the Scottish Prison Service were registered disabled.
In 1993, the Scottish Office and its agencies--excluding the Scottish Prison Service other than headquarters administration staff--together with its associated departments of General Register Office for Scotland and Scottish Records Office, undertook a survey of disability and long-term health conditions in the workplace. Some 1.7 per cent. of staff identified themselves as registered disabled. Moreover, a total of 5 per cent. of staff indicated that they were affected "a great deal" or "to some extent" by some form of disability or long-term health condition.
Mr. Soames: The size of the Royal Marines Reserve has been examined to determine whether there should be some adjustment in the light of the current strategic environment. We have concluded that there should be no major reduction in strength. We continue to look at the roles of the Royal Marines Reserve to ensure the best utilisation of their many skills.
Mr. Soames: My Department's medal offices have already taken measures to expedite the issue of awards and medals to those who served in the second world war. Additional staff have been allocated to the task of assessing claims for medals and overtime is being worked on a regular basis to reduce the backlog. We do not believe that it would be helpful to recruit new staff for assessment work as the task of training and supervising them would divert existing staff from the work in hand and would lead to further delays. Given the number of claims received and the time-consuming and exacting nature of assessing entitlements, medals for second world war veterans are being issued as quickly as possible.
Column 639January 1994; and if he will provide a breakdown of the circumstances which resulted in these incidents.
Column 640heavy duty mark II vehicles were obliged to make unscheduled stops to deal with technical problems. The circumstances are set out in the table.
TCHD Mk 2 operational convoy unscheduled stops (29 January 1994 to 13 March 1995) Cause Serial number |Date |Location |Fault |Quality |Design |Rectification |Delay time ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1 |6 June 1994 |M1, Tibshelf |Knocking sound |- |- |Precautionary |33 minutes | near |from tractor |stop, no fault | Mansfield |unit |found. 2 |7 June 1994 |A696, south of |Air pressure |Air pressure |34 minutes |Otterburn |warning |found |buzzer |satisfactory. |sounded 3 |2 August 1994 |A68, south east|"Clonking" |Precautionary |26 minutes |of Edinburgh |sound when |stop, no fault |turning |found 4 |21 September |A696, near |Discharge from |Tractor unit |<1>1 hour 10 | 1994 |Ponteland |sump oil |changed. | minutes |connecting |pipe Note: <1>The fault developed shortly after departure. After replacement of the spare tractor unit the convoy returned to await arrival of a substitute spare unit. Movement therefore suspended for 24 hours.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total cost of maintaining and operating convoys of truck cargo heavy duty mark II vehicles and their escort in (a) 1992 93, (b) 1993 94 and (c) 1994 95.
Mr. Soames: The truck cargo heavy duty mark II entered operational service in September 1992. In 1992 93 the cost of operating the convoys-- including their MOD escorts--and maintaining the vehicles was about £800,000; in 1993 94, £1,200,000; and to date in 1994 95, £950, 000.
Mr. Livingstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many United States bases and facilities were located in the United Kingdom in (a) 1985, (b) 1989 and (c) 1992; and how many such bases and facilities there are at present.
Mr. Soames: The number of United States bases and facilities in the United Kingdom at the end of each years in question was 75, 73 and 54 respectively. At present, there are 44 United States bases and facilities in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Freeman: My Department is playing a full part in discussions in the western European armaments group on the concept of a European armaments agency. Our support for the establishment of an agency would be subject to its adding value to existing arrangements. Initially, an agency would be concerned with co-operative activities on behalf of member nations; the conditions do not exist for an
Column 640agency to undertake the full range of procurement activities.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the implications of article 223 of the treaty of Rome for the development of a common European defence market.
Mr. Freeman: The United Kingdom has been working in the western European armaments group towards the liberalisation of the European defence equipment market. The existence of article 223 of the treaty of Rome does not prevent nations from agreeing to an open defence equipment market.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when and by whom the decision was taken to site the Procurement Executive at Abbey Wood, Bristol; how many employees will work there; what is the estimated value of Abbey Wood; and how much (a) has been and (b) will be spent on the site to provide suitable accommodation.
Mr. Freeman: The Government's decision to site the Procurement Executive headquarters at Abbey Wood was announced in November 1991. Current plans envisage that some 4,300 PE staff, together with a further 600 PE-related project support and integrated logistics systems personnel, will work at Abbey Wood. Consideration is being given to accommodating additional staff at Abbey Wood to allow further rationalisation of MOD property holdings.
The project is estimated to yield some £40 million in direct annual departmental running cost savings and will enable annual PE staff reductions of some £35 million
Column 641which the PE was already committed to prior to the defence costs study.
The defence costs study reconfirmed that the project represented good value for money and would support additional annual savings worth a further £30 million by taking advantage of the benefit of the new working environment at Abbey Wood, improved working practices, and a more streamlined organisation.
The estimated cost of the Abbey Wood development, inclusive of site acquisition, construction, fitting out, professional works management fees and VAT, is £254,136 million at 1993 prices of which some £134,6 million, inclusive of VAT, has been spent to date. The project remains within budget.
(2) how many people will be employed at the Procurement Executive headquarters based at Abbey Wood in Bristol;
Mr. Soames: The Government have suggested a number of areas in which the WEU will need to develop its ability to mount effective European-led missions, and which will in turn enhance the United Kingdom's ability to partake in such operations. These were set out in the "Memorandum on the United Kingdom Government's approach to the treatment of European Defence Issues at the 1996 Inter-governmental Conference" that has recently been placed in the Library of the House. The memorandum explains that a key element will be the successful implementation of the combined joint task force initiative, launched at the 1994 NATO summit, whereby NATO can make available separable but not separate elements of its command structure for European-led missions. We believe that there is also a need to strengthen the WEU's planning capabilities and to put in place other measures to ensure that the WEU has the necessary capacity to organise, mount and control operations. These measures include development of practical arrangements such as a situation centre and improved intelligence handling capabilities. The Government have indicated their intention to make a significant contribution to this, including making available relevant national expertise.
Mr. Soames: Our proposals on these matters have been set out in the "Memorandum on the United Kingdom's approach to the treatment of European Defence Issues at the 1996 Inter-governmental Conference", copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. Under this approach, the Government believe that defence
Column 642of the territory of NATO member states should remain a matter for NATO, in accordance with article 5 of the Washington treaty. In this context, the role of the Western European Union should be to act as a more effective European pillar of the alliance. But, in the new strategic environment, we believe that military forces are more likely to be used for: crisis management combat operations; peacekeeping tasks, including embargo or sanctions enforcement; and humanitarian and rescue missions. There may also be other tasks, such as the evacuation of our nationals from trouble spots, which are normally a national responsibility but where it may well make sense for European nations involved to act together. The Government believe that it is on these tasks that the WEU should concentrate without in any way claiming an exclusive prerogative to tackle particular operations.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether any proposed reforms of the Western European Union will require changes to: (a) the 1948 Brussels treaty and (b) the Maastricht treaty; and if he will make a statement.
decision-making process and of how this process can be enhanced; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: The Government's proposals for the handling of defence issues at the 1996 intergovernmental conference include, as a major element, the creation of a new WEU body at head of state and Government level, involving full members of the WEU, association members and observers, with the aim of providing a reinforced decision-making process for matters related to European defence and for mobilising effective European military capabilities.
Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's policy concerning the use of Western European Union associate partners in future Western European Union military operations; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Soames: Our intention will be to seek to ensure that the arrangements that are set in hand for the development of the WEU allow for the voluntary participation of association partners in missions undertaken by the WEU, where appropriate.