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Education Initiatives

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what were (i) the total number of contracts covered by his answer of 23 July 1999, Official Report, columns 691-92W, (ii) the number and total value of those contracts that have been put out to competitive tender, (iii) the number and total value of those contracts that have not been put out to competitive tender and (iv) the names of all companies with which contracts not put out to competitive tender have been concluded. [99116]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 22 November 1999]: There were 65 commercial contracts relating to the previous answer. 26 contracts, at a total value of £4.4 million were put out to competitive tender, and 39 contracts at a value of £709,000 were not put out to competitive tender. The remaining expenditure on consultants and advisers were for individuals and organisations working with the Department on a non-commercial basis. Where commercial contracts were not put out to competitive tender the contracts relate to the organisations or individuals listed, engaged due to their known specialist expertise. Some may have more than one contract.

    C. & P. Partnership

    Wilfred Agnew

    Barry Allsop

    Norman Barlow

    Richard Brake

    Terry Browne

    Margaret Caister

    Ian Clelland

    Professor Bernard Crick

    Joan Farrelly

    Mike Fielding

    Pamela Francis

    Roger Frost

    Arthur Giles

    George Gill OBE

    Ann Gittins

    Joan Greenfield

    Bill Greenwood

    Malcolm Hewitt

    Peter Highfield

    Penny Holden

    Pat Ivin

    Jane Jinks

    Diane Kelly

    Dee Kushlick-Williams

    Professor Hugh Lawlor

    Hilary MacDonald

    Helen McMaster

    Ivan McNally

    Denis Mongon

    Judith Morris

    Ian Pollard

    Merlin Price

    Alan Puckey

    Peter Rabbett

    Ian Shelton

Monica Timmis

Sir Anthony Tippet

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Gail Treml

Tony Webster

Jeff White

Sylvia Wright


On-line Services

Helen Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when she intends to publish information on the target set by the Prime Minister to deliver 25 per cent. of Government services electronically. [105516]

Marjorie Mowlam: A report on progress by Departments and their key agencies was published recently. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of the House and it was published on the website The report contains information supplied by Departments on a sample of key dealings between the citizen and business and Government.


Live Munitions Testing

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment was made by his Department of the impact on fishing activity prior to the testing of live cluster bombs in Luce Bay; [104356]

Mr. Spellar: The trials at Luce Bay that took place over Easter last year were an urgent operational requirement in direct support of the UK participation in the NATO action in Kosovo. Live variants of the cluster bomb were used because there were insufficient inert bombs available to complete the trials within the required timescale. Although these weapons contained live bomblets, they were configured in such a manner as not to deploy the bomblets in flight.

Before any trial is approved a detailed series of risk assessments and defined controlled operating procedures are required. In addition, prior to the Luce Bay trial options for the recovery, disposal and containment of the bombs were all considered. The final decision to contain the bombs on the seabed was made once the trial has been completed and the situation assessed. The impact area within the licensed danger area of the Luce Bay range was selected on the basis that no significant fishing activity was regularly carried out in that area. The exact location was selected using the experience and judgment of the West Freugh Range and Ground Control Officers, who have between them more than 38 years of experience of monitoring all activities which emanate from the range.

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In common with other test and evaluation ranges in the UK the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency's Luce Bay range is formally licensed for trials involving the use of live ordnance, and operates in accordance with the local byelaws governing its use. Whilst the majority of the trials conducted in the Luce Bay area and elsewhere around the Scottish coast are achieved wherever possible using inert material, there will inevitably be requirements in the future for trials using live ordnance to support the effectiveness of the United Kingdom armed services, sometimes at short notice. All trials, whether using live or inert weapons are subject to the same stringent controls and procedures to ensure the safe operation of all such activities.

Service Personnel (Health)

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel in each of the three armed services are currently classified as category P7R, unfit for operational duty. [104924]

Mr. Spellar: The medical category P7, with or without the "R" suffix, denotes fitness for specific types of light duties in the Royal Navy or Army. The RAF equivalent is known as Medical Employment Standard (MES) Z 5 (Temp). The "R" suffix with P7 may be used at the discretion of medical officers as an indication that the patient is expected to return to full fitness within a maximum period of up to 18 months.

The three Services maintain statistics on medical downgrading in slightly different ways to reflect their requirements. P7R figures, where available, for each of the Services as at 12 January 2000 are as follows:

    Medical Category P7R--1,535 (Ratings only) Figures for Officers not held centrally.


    Medical Category P7--2,019 (Officers and other ranks).


    It is not possible to ascertain the number within this category that may also have been designated "R" as this information is not recorded centrally.


    Medical Category MES Z 5(Temp)--1,786 Officers and other ranks)

Wilkinson Sword of Peace

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the units of the armed services that have been awarded the Wilkinson Sword of Peace in each year since its inception, indicating the aspect of community relations recognised in the award. [105457]

Mr. Spellar: Messrs Wilkinson Sword Ltd. presents an annual Sword of Peace to a unit or establishment of each Service which is judged to have made the most valuable contribution towards establishing good and friendly relations with the inhabitants of any community at home or overseas, over and above the unit's normal role and duty.

A list of the single-Service Units to which the Wilkinson Sword of Peace has been awarded since 1992, along with the citation for the last two years, is detailed in Table 1. A comprehensive list of all winners of the

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Wilkinson Sword of Peace since its inception in 1966, and the associated citation, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In addition to the Single-Service awards, Messrs Wilkinson Sword Ltd. has, since 1994, presented an annual award (when a citation is deemed worthy of recognition) to the most deserving Joint Service unit or ad hoc grouping formed for any specific operation. A list of the four winners to date is given in Table 2, with a brief citation for the last two years.

Table 1: Wilkinson Sword of Peace (Navy)

1992MCM 1 Squadron Baltic States
1993HMS LondonDurres and Albania
1994HMS FearlessGuyana
1995HMS Invincible, HMS IllustriousVarious
1996Inshore Training SquadronRussia and Spain
1997819 Naval Air SquadronRNAS Prestwick
1998Task Group 326.02 (Op Tellar)Nicaragua and Honduras

    1997: Household Cavalry Regiment
    Awarded for the work of two squadrons of the Household Cavalry Regiment in returning the lives of members of the severely damaged community of Banja Luka to conditions approaching normality, in which the seeds of long-standing peace might grow.
    1998:8th (Co Armagh and Co Tyrone) Battalion Royal Irish Regiment
    The Battalion has succeeded in making a dynamic and imaginative contribution to the community of Armagh, against the backcloth of unprecedented political momentum and a difficult operational environment.

    Wilkinson Sword of Peace (Royal Air Force)

    1992RAF LynehamUN Operations overseas
    1993RAF KinlossLocal community
    1994RAF ManstonLocal community
    1995RAF LaarbruchBosnia, Romania and Holland
    1996RAF StornowayLocal community
    1997Numbers 1 and 34 Squadrons, RAF RegimentBosnia
    1998RAF AldergroveNorthern Ireland

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    1997: Numbers 1 and 34 Squadrons of the RAF Regiment
    For their part in Peace Support Operations as part of the multi-national peace Stabilisation Force at Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina
    1998: RAF Aldergrove
    In recognition of the Station's response to the Omagh tragedy, and the wider humanitarian and fund-raising activities carried out throughout the year.

    Table 2: Wilkinson Sword of Peace (Special)

    Year Unit/EstablishmentLocation
    1994Op Gabriel (5AB Bde)Rwanda
    1995Op Chantress (Britlogbat, tri-Svc)Angola
    1996Not awarded--
    1998BMATT South AfricaSouth Africa

    1997: Military Corrective Training Centre, Colchester
    Members of staff, SUS and young offenders have provided a valuable contribution to the local community, and to charitable organisations, out of all proportion to the manpower and time available to them.
    1998: The British Military Advisory and Training Team (South Africa)
    BMATT has played a crucial and influential role in harmonising the extremely difficult integration of former adversaries into a cohesive defence force.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the means by which consultation takes place prior to announcement of the annual Wilkinson Sword of Peace awards and (b) his Department's inputs in nomination and selection. [105458]

Mr. Spellar: Entries for the Wilkinson Sword of Peace competitions are invited annually through Defence Council Instructions, which also detail the eligibility criteria. The selection of the most deserving single-Service unit is done by an adjudicating committee, under the chairmanship of the relevant Service Principal Personnel Officer. The selection of the most deserving tri-Service unit, for the award of the Wilkinson Sword of Peace (Special), is done by an adjudicating committee formed of the three Principal Personnel Officers, under the chairmanship of the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel).

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