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MOD Police (Jurisdiction)

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what powers of jurisdiction over civilians (a) not employed by his Department and (b) employed by his Department the Ministry of Defence Police Agency has. [74309]

Mr. Doug Henderson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 2 March 1999, Official Report, column 655, by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, which outlined the circumstances in which MOD Police officers have the powers and privileges of constables. There are a variety of circumstances in which MOD Police officers might be able to exercise constabulary powers in relation to civilians whether or not they are employed by the Ministry of Defence.

Gifts (Weapons and Military Equipment)

Mr. John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries which have received gifts of (a) weapons and (b) other military equipment from Her Majesty's Government since 1 May 1997, indicating the (i) types and (ii) value of equipment given. [74679]

Mr. Spellar: According to central records, the countries which have received gifts of weapons and other military equipment from Her Majesty's Government since 1 May 1997 are as follows:

CountryValue (£)
(a) Weapons
Canada2 x Chieftain main battle tanks@ 5,000 each
(b) Other military equipment
Congo (Army)Pickets and barbed wire450
Congo (Red Cross)Ration packs2,578
Canada4 x Ferret scout cars4,000
Former Yugoslavia (Vitez)Accommodation equipment14,040
Hong KongHardstick furniture21,605
Italy25 x Portakabins25,000
USAInert WE 177 training round1
Canada2 x Land Rovers1,154

All these items were surplus to requirements. The main battle tanks were gifted to museums.


VALUE Programme

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the key milestones and timetable for the Value-added Acquisition and Logistics for Ultimate Efficiency Programme; and if he will list the names and appointments of (a) civil servants, (b) military personnel and (c) external consultants on the programme. [74660]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 4 March 1999]: The VALUE programme is analysing the processes and key data elements of defence logistics, in support of the formation of the Defence Logistics Organisation and the implementation of the Smart Procurement Initiative. The main analytical work will be completed by 31 March 1999; the remaining work, which is due to be completed by 30 June 1999, will support the establishment of a programme of continuous improvement in defence logistics.

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Members of the VALUE team are listed on the MOD website (http:/www.mod.uk). No external consultants are directly employed on the VALUE work.

Smart Procurement

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the names and appointments of the (a) civil servants, (b) military personnel and (c) external consultants who make up the Smart Procurement Implementation Team. [74647]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 4 March 1999]: The Implementation Team for the Smart Procurement Initiative planning phase comprises 48 full and part-time members. Team members include 25 civilian and 15 military personnel and 8 representatives from industry. The Implementation Team is being supported during the planning phase by external consultants from McKinsey & Co and KPMG, supplemented by occasional temporary attachments of civilian and military personnel on ad hoc activities. The names of some members of the Smart Procurement Implementation Team are included on the team's website (www.mod.uk/policy/smart).

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of the recent merger of BAe and Marconi on his Department's Smart Procurement policy. [74643]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 4 March 1999]: The MOD is currently assessing the impact of the proposed merger and will be advising the regulatory authorities in due course. It is not, however, expected to have any impact on our Smart Procurement policy.

Strategic Defence Review

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the names and appointments of the (a) civil servants and (b) military personnel of the Strategic Defence Review Implementation Team. [74645]

Mr. George Robertson [holding answer 4 March 1999]: The central Strategic Defence Review Implementation Team is a small civilian/military team of 9 personnel including support staff. The team has responsibility for monitoring and chasing progress on implementation of the Strategic Defence Review.

The Implementation Team works closely with many others across the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces engaged in implementing particular aspects of the Review.

Scout Reconnaissance Vehicle Programme

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the project definition, milestones and costs of the armoured scout reconnaissance vehicle programme. [69571]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 8 February 1999]: The Armoured Scout Reconnaissance Vehicle is a collaborative programme between the UK and the USA to study candidate technologies to meet our common requirements for battlefield reconnaissance for the Army of the future. Contracts for a 42 month Project Definition Phase were awarded to the SIKA and LANCER consortia on 29 January 1999. No commitment has been made to

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the programme beyond the Project Definition Phase. Decisions will be made following a Balance of Investment Study, which will determine the optimum solution to the Land Commander's information gathering requirement. As part of the wider study, we will also be investigating the use of Unmanned Aerial and Land Vehicles.

The total cost to the UK for the joint elements of the Project Definition Phase contracts will be around £90 million, excluding VAT. In addition, the UK will be spending around £7 million, excluding VAT, on UK specific issues.

Holy Loch

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the projected cost of the Holy Loch clean-up of debris left behind by US visiting forces has risen to between £8 million and £10 million. [75116]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 8 March 1999]: The estimated costs of the Holy Loch clean-up operations are based on the practical experience gained during operations covered by the current contract. This has led to the forecasted final expenditure of £8 million to £10 million.

Iraq

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the total weight of bombs dropped by British forces on Iraq (a) during Operation Desert Fox and (b) subsequently. [75671]

Mr. George Robertson: During Operation DESERT FOX in December last year, a total of 28,560kg of bombs were dropped by British forces on Iraqi military targets. Subsequently, British forces have dropped 20,520kg of bombs in the course of operations over Iraq.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent RAF pilots forced down in Iraq will be protected by the terms of the Geneva Convention; and if he will make a statement. [75670]

Mr. George Robertson: The Geneva Conventions are applicable in any international armed conflict, whether or not a state of war exists between the parties; the application of the Conventions are not dependent upon a formal declaration of war or hostilities. Accordingly, any of our aircrew forced down in Iraq would be entitled to the status of prisoners of war. We would expect Iraq to meet all its obligations under international law, including all applicable international conventions.

Falkland Islands

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review his Department's decision to reduce the number of Tristar flights to the Falkland Islands. [75756]

Mr. Doug Henderson: The reduction in the number of RAF Tristar Airbridge flights to the Falkland Islands by one flight per calendar month was one of a range of efficiency proposals identified by the Strategic Defence Review. It represents a rationalisation of the use of Tristar aircraft, following technical improvements that allow them to carry an increased payload, rather than representing any significant reduction to the overall capacity of the Airbridge. Final arrangements for the implementation of this measure are still under consideration.

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