|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Spellar: As far as can be ascertained from surviving records, some 200 hand-held spray devices containing 0.05 per cent. CR were held at HM Prison Maze at that time, but were not used (although CS smoke was used). We have no record of blood samples being taken at the prison at that time.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what evaluation he has made of (a) the effectiveness of CR gas in keeping public order and (b) the circumstances in which CR gas may be deployed. 
Mr. Spellar: The term CR refers to the chemical agent Dibenzoxazepine. Dibenzoxazepine has severe short-term incapacitating effects which have been well documented in the medical literature (for example, in Medicine, Science and Law, October 1973). CR may be deployed and authorised for use by the Armed Forces in certain special circumstances, particularly where it might enable the use of firearms to be avoided.
26 Jul 2000 : Column: 680W
Mr. Spellar: In common with the rest of the Defence Logistics Organisation, Defence Munitions has been set challenging savings and efficiency targets. A number of significant savings initiatives have already been delivered from the constituent parts.
Previous efficiency studies such as Options for Change and Front Line First have, by and large, resulted in DM Gosport in Hampshire being a net inheritor of tasks and resources. Consequently the Depot has escaped the hard root and branch reviews which other parts of Defence Munitions have been subject to. To address the efficiency issue at DM Gosport a review of work practices and Depot management structure was initiated late 1999. The Study Team identified, as a first step, business efficiencies which, if implemented, would result in reductions of up to 30 per cent. of the total number of posts of 650.
I was advised in February that further work was necessary. This was undertaken by a team comprising Depot staff and Trades Union representatives, which was supported by consultants to build upon the team's work, and charged with identifying the precise future optimum business processes and management structure of the Depot. This further work has now completed and indicates that post reductions in the order of 46 per cent. are possible without detriment to the output of the Depot.
A "without commitment" Preference Exercise carried out at the Depot has identified that the majority of redundancies would be achieved voluntarily. While the probability of job losses is always unwelcome, it is crucial that we take advantage of new business processes (such as multi-skilling, operator self inspection, exploitation of new technology, and outsourcing of a number of support functions) if we are to ensure that we are able to maximise investment on front line defence capability and continue to give best value for money to the taxpayer.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many staff were seconded from the private sector to his Department from (a) May 1997 to April 1998, (b) May 1998 to April 1999 and (c) May 1999 to the latest date for which figures are available, stating in each case the companies from which staff have been seconded. 
Dr. Moonie [pursuant to the reply, 8 February 2000, c. 109-10W]: A correction is required to the information given for secondments from the private sector to the Ministry of Defence for the period May 1998 to April 1999. During this period there were 20 inward secondments, not 19 as stated, as there were two secondees from Rolls-Royce for this period, not one. The corrected information is in the table.
26 Jul 2000 : Column: 681W
|GEC Marconi Radar and Defence||1|
|Private Finance Panel Ltd.||1|
|British Nuclear Fuels||2|
|Gardiner & Theobald||1|
|Devonport Management Ltd.||1|
|Simmons & Simmons||1|
|Wragg and Co||1|
|Defence Acquisition Group||2|
|PA Consulting Group||1|
|Dibb, Lupton Alsop||1|
Mr. Morley: I have no such plans at present. The Sea Mammal Research Unit is currently trialling a range of gear modifications, including the use of acoustic deterrents (pingers) with Cornish fishermen, in order to reduce the scale of cetacean bycatch. If these measures prove effective, I will encourage their use in all similar UK fisheries.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many of the written parliamentary questions tabled to his Department between 19 October 1999 and 20 April 2000 did not receive substantive answers, citing as the reason that the information was (a) not held centrally, (b) not held in the form requested and (c) not available. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 18 July 2000]: According to our records, of the 1,189 written parliamentary questions tabled during this period, we answered seven questions where the information was not held centrally, nine where the information was not held in the form requested and 34 where the information was not available.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many written parliamentary questions tabled to his Department between 19 October 1999 and 20 April 2000 have not received substantive answers, citing as the reason commercial confidentiality or other confidentiality. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 20 July 2000]: For this period there were 1,189 written parliamentary questions tabled, of which seven did not receive substantive answers, citing as the reason commercial or other confidentiality.
26 Jul 2000 : Column: 682W
Mr. Chope: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 8 March 2000, Official Report, column 723W, on tree felling licences, what the outcome was of the investigation by the Forestry Commission into allegations that the RSPB had felled trees which were not included in the felling licence for Avon Heath Country Park; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many unfilled vacancies for permanent staff his Department has; what percentage of staff positions in his Department are vacant; what the monthly cost would be to his Department of employing civil servants in these positions; how many and what percentage of staff his Department employs on a temporary basis through employment agencies; how much his Department paid employment agencies to supply temporary staff in each of the last 12 months; and how much he expects to pay employment agencies to supply temporary staff in each of the next 12 months. 
The Prime Minister: The Committee has submitted its third report to me and I have today placed copies in the Libraries of both Houses. Since 1975 the Committee has advised the Prime Minister of the day on the propriety of business appointments that Crown servants wish to take up when they leave the Crown service. Following a recommendation of the Committee on Standards in
26 Jul 2000 : Column: 683W
Public Life, it now also provides advice directly to former Ministers on their business appointments. The Committee's third report provides an account of their work in 1999-2000.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|