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CHARM Contract

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what impact the 10-year partnering deal between BAe and his Department had on the decision on the CHARM contract; and if he will make a statement; [111455]

Dr. Moonie: This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Sir Robert Walmsley to Mr. Michael Hancock, dated 29 February 2000:



    The decision on the CHARM 3 Training Round contract was taken following a fair and open competition. The 10 year partnering arrangement recently agreed between MOD and BAe (Royal Ordnance) was negotiated separately and had no impact on the outcome.


    The CHARM 3 Training Round competition was conducted in two phases. For reasons of intellectual property rights, limited information regarding the performance requirement was released to bidders during the first phase. In response to the proposals received during phase one the technical specification was revised for the second phase of the competition and further, more detailed technical information on the Challenger 2 armament system was released. It was therefore only possible to judge the extent of the technical compliance of the bids (including that from Portsmouth Aviation) at the end of the second phase.


    The contract proposals were assessed against the standard criteria of technical compliance, performance whole life cost and value for money which apply to all MoD contracting. The competition specified that proposals were to be based on firm prices.


    Final bids when received met the firm price criterion and the contract will be awarded against a firm price proposal.


    The terms and conditions of the contract for the supply of the CHARM 3 training Round will be those contained in the Invitation to Tender. These include standard contractual conditions to safeguard the Department's interests in the event of breach of contract or default by the contractor.

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    BAe (Royal Ordnance) have been selected as the preferred bidder because their bid best met the requirement. The contract will be awarded subject to agreement of satisfactory terms and conditions, independently of any consideration of scheduled BAe plant closures. Past performance was considered at the ITT stage of the competition in the usual way. The contract will clearly state the time cost and performance standards that this contract will have to meet.

Computers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answers of 14 February 2000, Official Report, column 372W, and 2 February 2000, column 590W, on computers, what were the grade and post of each of his Department's staff involved in internal hacking incidents over the past five years; and what was the date and location of each incident. [111111]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 22 February 2000]: The Government-wide Unified Incident Reporting and Alert Scheme (UNIRAS) accepts reports on the understanding that the anonymity of the organisation submitting the report is maintained. The records held within the UNIRAS system do not include the grades and posts of those involved in each incident, or the disciplinary action taken. The details requested cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost, or in the case of location of incidents, risking prejudicing the anonymity of the UNIRAS system.

SERCO

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the (a) number, (b) details of service involved, (c) length of contract and (d) location of contracts his Department has entered into with SERCO. [111785]

Dr. Moonie: The information requested is not readily available in the form requested. I will write to my hon. Friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

RAF Aircraft Crashes

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the causes of the crashes of (a) RAF Tornado GR1 near Everton, Nottinghamshire, on 21 January 1999, (b) RAF Harrier GR7 over Rollins Air Force Base, Nevada on 29 January 1999, (c) RAF Harrier GR7 over RAF Laarbruck, Germany on 4 February 1999, (d) RAF Bulldog T1 over RAF Leuchars on 5 March 1999, (e) Army Lynx MK7 over Tilton Hill on 18 May 1999, (f) RN Sea King HAS 6 over SNS Reina on 12 June 1999, (g) Army Turbo Islander AL1 over Broughton on 13 June 1999, (h) RAF Harrier GR7 south of Boston on 9 July 1999, (i) RAF Hercules C130 over Kukes, Albania, on 11 July 1999, (j) Army Gazelle AH1 over Belize on 11 September 1999, (k) RAF Tornado GR1 near Kirkheaton on 14 October 1999, (l) RAF Hawk T1 over Shap on 22 October 1999, (m) RAF Tornado F3 near Torness on 17 November 1999, (n) RAF Chinook HC2 in Oman on 25 November 1999, (o) RAF Harrier GR7 over Coldstream on 14 July 1999 and (p) RAF Jaguar GR1 over Moray Firth on 20 October 1999; what measures have been taken to prevent similar accidents in each case; what were the costs of each crash in terms of (i) equipment and (ii) lives; and if he will make a statement. [111710]

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Mr. Spellar: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Aircraft

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of value for money in relation to the requirement of (a) the Boeing C17 and (b) the Antonov 124. [111930]

Dr. Moonie: In deciding how to meet our future air transport requirements, we will take into account a range of factors, including the need to achieve our military requirements while at the same time obtaining value for money for the taxpayer.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Recycling

Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of documentation used by her Department is (a) made from recycled paper and (b) collected for recycling. [111603]

Clare Short: (a) Presently less than 1 per cent. of documentation used by my Department is made from recycled paper. However, the wood used in the production of the paper is from sustainable forests.

We are currently in the process of setting up an Environmental Management System and addressing the issue of how to increase the amount of recycled paper.

(b) The percentage of paper that we currently recycle is 23 per cent. I expect this figure to rise in the coming years.

Multi-national Trade Agreements

Mr. Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to help build the capacity of developing countries to allow them (a) to take advantage of, (b) to understand and (c) to comply with multi-national trade agreements. [111518]

Clare Short: My Department is working bilaterally and with a wide range of other organisations, to help build the capacity of developing countries to participate more effectively in the WTO. To date, the UK has committed over £15 million to capacity building programmes of this type and a full list of activities has been placed in the Library of the House of Commons.

Helping developing countries better understand the WTO is the first step. This is a principal objective for the technical assistance programmes of the WTO, ITC and UNCTAD, all of which are supported by the UK through substantial financial contributions. Commonwealth developing countries are also benefiting from technical assistance of this type through the Trade and Investment Access Facility, to which the UK is a principal donor.

Assisting developing countries comply with their obligations and take advantage of their rights/ opportunities in the WTO is a longer term process. In this regard, the UK is supporting bilateral technical assistance programmes in Bangladesh, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. A focus of such technical assistance is often

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implementation of the WTO Agreements relating to trade remedies, where developing countries need help to utilise WTO-sanctioned instruments. In addition, the UK is a founder member and substantial donor of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law which enables developing countries to take better advantage of the WTO's Dispute Settlement process.

The UK has been very active in calling for the World Bank to give practical effect to its commitments to mainstream trade into its Comprehensive Development Framework for developing countries. We believe that the World Bank has a key role to play in enhancing developing countries' capacity to implement trade agreements and in expanding their trade capacity.

Mr. Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to help build the capacity of developing countries to take part in multi-national trade talks. [111434]

Clare Short: We are working bilaterally and with a wide range of other organisations, including United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank, ITC and the Commonwealth Secretariat, to help build the capacity of developing countries to participate in multi-national trade talks in the WTO and in the context of the EU-ACP post-Lome arrangements. To date, the UK has committed over £15 million to trade-related capacity building programmes of this type and a full list of activities has been placed in the Library of the House of Commons.

More specifically, the UK is supporting bilateral technical assistance programmes in Bangladesh (£0.56 million), Malawi (£0.25 million), South Africa (£0.1 million), Zimbabwe (£0.5 million) and the 14 CARICOM countries in the Caribbean (£1.1 million). A project in Pakistan is currently under review and a new project in Ghana is being finalised. This technical assistance comprises expert technical advice, training, trade policy studies and negotiating skills and is typically provided to a broad base of stakeholders from national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations who are involved in trade policy negotiations.

At the multilateral level, developing countries' participation in the WTO negotiations is being particularly supported by a major World Bank Trade Policy Development Programme (TPDP), to which the UK has committed £3 million. TPDP comprises trade policy research and analytical studies; seminars on key issues for the WTO negotiations; training for trade policy officials; and a handbook for trade negotiators from developing countries.

In addition, Commonwealth developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are benefiting from the Commonwealth Trade and Investment Access Facility (TIAF), to which the UK has committed £1.4 million. TIAF's technical assistance projects including full-time specialist WTO and Trade Policy Advisers based in Geneva and in the Pacific, who played a key role in helping Commonwealth developing countries prepare for, and participate in, the WTO Seattle Ministerial meeting.

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